| Tim Cook: Apple Watch in April
In Tuesday financial conference call Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the upcoming Apple Watch will ship in April. Previous rumors suggested March, so a guess could be earlier rather than later in the month. This news is the latest nfo since Apple said it would be released in early 2015.
Pricing will start out at $349 with more expensive models to be available. The Apple Watch will require an iPhone 5/5c/5S/6/6+.
Apple’s Q1 Earnings
Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 first quarter ended December 27, 2014. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion and record quarterly net profit of $18 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $57.6 billion and net profit of $13.1 billion, or $2.07 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.9 percent compared to 37.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 65 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
Apple sold over 74 million iPhones, over 21 million iPads and 5.5 million Macs. This compares to 39 million, 12 million, and 5.5 million units in the previous quarter. Apple Q1 covers the holiday sales quarter, plus the first substantial quarter with iPhone and iPad product refreshes. iTunes also saw continues growth of $4.7 billion up from $4.6 billion in sales.
What’s remarkable for old-timers is it seems not that long ago Apple as a whole made around $1.5 billion in a quarter. Now it makes three-times that selling just content for its various products.
1Password gets update on Mac, iOS
AgileBits has updates for both its OS X and iOS password management apps. On the Mac, the big new features come in the way of syncing. The update allows control over how multiple password vaults sync across devices. Also new is the ability to sync vaults over wifi.
On iOS, the Pro version of the app now supports a new login creator, which should make creating new secure logins easier. Also new is support for one time passwords, which is different than two-factor passwords. Agile Bits says sites like Amazon and Tumbler support one time passwords and this update will make it easier.
The upgrade are free for current users.
Cringely on IBM's massive restructuring
Bob Cringely on IBM's Project Chrome reinvention:
In one of the new business units I’ve heard that everyone is going to be interviewed and will have to give a sales pitch. If you can’t sell, you’re out. Clearly IBM’s declining revenue problem is tempering the organization of this unit. This team will fix the problem by getting rid of the people who can’t sell. This is the classic treat the symptom and ignore the cause way of thinking. There are reasons why customers are buying less from IBM. Working harder to sell won’t fix those problems. If anything it will probably increase IBM’s problems with its customers.
This will be interesting to watch whether IBM emerges stronger, weaker, or simply smaller. "Right-sized" is the management speak, but really that just means getting smaller to match your current state of suckage. That will likely be followed by another in the not too distant future.
Anyway, the interesting question is how this may affect Apple's recent IBM partnership. Apple and IBM last year embarked on an ambitious hardware/services initiative where basically Apple provides the hardware/OS platform with the iPad and helps develop apps supported by IBM services.
Report: Apple Watch battery life may be around 19 hours
Mark Gurman for 9 to 5 Mac
We’re told that Apple has been shooting for roughly 19 hours of mixed usage each day, but that the company may not hit that number in the first generation version.
Battery life could be as low as 2.5 hours of heavy usage, while up to 2-3 days in standby. Battery life, like the original iPhone and iPad, is a make or break feature of the device. Certainly average use will have to last a typical day, I think. If you do heavy use, I think most people will accept a mid-day charge if you're getting a lot of miles on it, but most people I think will want it to last until bed time.
The report also says the device can handle four hours of straight exercise on a charge. I'm guessing this is an exercise mode. i'd hope it could track steps all day without draining the battery.
One other tidbit of several in this report is Mark states Apple has about 3000 watches in the wild for testing. Safe to say Apple learned their lesson with "antenna gate" where secrecy trumped quality field testing.
Twitter launches recap feature
A lot can happen while you’re on the go. To fill in some of those gaps, we will surface a few of the best Tweets you probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise, determined by engagement and other factors. If you check in on Twitter now and then for a quick snapshot of what’s happening, you’ll see this recap more often; if you spend a lot of time on Twitter already, you’ll see it less.
Twitter is famously a firehose that’s best used as a live feed of what’s going on right now. What happened hours ago, like live events, aren’t really relevant when you get back online. While you where away though seems to still bubble up those key tweets you might still want to see without sifting through something that happened in the first half of a random game or whatever.
Recap is rolling out to iOS Twitter clients and twitter.com at a later time.
Rogue Amoeba Audio Hijack get major overhaul
Rogue Amoeba makes some cool stuff and Audio Hijack is my favorite. The long-time versatile Audio Hijack 3 is a major revamp of the OS X application with a new visual interface. The new interface uses pipes to route audio from source, any processing, and output.
Audio Hijack 3 is available now for OS X 10.9 or later for $49. The upgrade is free for those who purchases Audio Hijack 2 a year ago and upgrade pricing is available all owners.
Khan Academy brings lessons to iPad
Khan Academy has a massive library of academic lessons dating back to 2008. With an update to their app, the company now has 150,000 exercises that are available for the iPad.
Nathan Ingraham for The Verge:
Rather than just port all of the exercises to the app, Khan Academy took the time to add some iPad-specific features to make the experience fit the platform better. When looking at a demo for some geometry questions, Wahl showed me how you could touch and manipulate geometric figures to help answer the questions. Another math-specific feature coming to the iPad app is the so-called "friendly guide." The guide analyzes the questions you answer correctly and incorrectly as well as how long it takes you to answer and then suggests other exercises that’ll help you in areas you’re not as strong with. And all your progress now gets synced back and forth between the iPad and the desktop, as long as you log in with a Khan Academy account.
Evernote Scannable App
Evernote recently released their own scanning app and it’s pretty nifty. We went paperless a year or two back. I’ve been using Scanner Pro app, which works pretty well and can be configured to import into Evernote. The new Scannable app a little slicker solution.
Scannable automatically scan pages using the camera and automatically crops with with a manual controls. It then can be brought into Evernote and designate a notebook. You can also scan in business cards, and similar to Evernote’s Hello app will recognize info and import into address fields, plus works with LinkedIn. The app also works with Evernote’s branded scanner for wireless scanning, although curiously it doesn’t seem to work with basically the same ScanSnap ix500 scanner.
Much of that isn’t unique, but the experience is more polished. The app is free and worth checking out.
Podcast: CES wrap-up of gadgets, ho or no adventures and more
Join us as we cap off last week's big CES show in Las Vegas
Looking at Flickr camera ownership for 2014
In 2014 Apple became the second highest camera brand used to take photos on Flickr. Compared to 2013, Apple moved passed Nikon. Apple's devices just edged out Nikon for 9.6% of brands vs 9.3%. Number 1 was Canon at 13.4%.
I would have guessed Apple, and other smartphones, would be taking market share from conventional cameras, but interestingly that's not the case. Both Canon and Nikon increased their share, it's just that Apple grew faster. Samsung too is growing fast as it over doubled its share.
So it would seem Canon and Nikon, along with the major two smartphone makers, are all gaining share at the expense of other devices.
More interesting data is available in the blog post. For example. the most popular three specific camera models are the iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, and iPhone 4. That's ahead of the Canon 7D.
iOS 8 beta previews Apple Watch companion app
Mac Gurman for 9 to 5 Mac:
Within Apple, the application is currently called the Apple Watch “Companion” app for iPhone. This application manages settings for Apple Watch applications, as well as settings for iPhone/Watch interactivity. The Companion app’s settings reveal some novel new functions that are coming to the Apple Watch.
Basically this give an idea of how people will be able to configure and control the Apple Watch via an iPhone. The Apple Watch requires a tethered iPhone, and all these settings are one reason why.
Expectations are that the Apple Watch will begin shipping in March.
Lifeproof LiveActiv Battery Backup Case and Smart Mounting System - CES 2015
Lifeproof announced a new waterproof case that integrates a battery backup. Also announced is a smart mounting system to make upgrading and different cases easier.
USB 3.1 storage from Other World Computing - CES 2015
USB 3.1 is on the way to market and if Apple (hopefully) adopts it soon, Other World Computing is ready with this Mercury Elite Pro storage solution. USB 3.1 promises big performance improvements that could give Thunderbolt a run.
ScanSnap ix100 portable/mobile scanner - CES 2015
The ix100 scanner from ScanSnap is a portable scanner ideal scanning on the go. It has a rechargeable battery so it can be used on the road.
WEMO Zigbee products for doors, windows, smoke detectors, keychains, and more - CES 2015
WEMO is showing off a line of new Zigbee products to complement existing WEMO devices. The products utilize a bridge to your network and can be used for a variety of purposes.
The devices are expected to ship later this fall. No prices are yet available.
FLIR One thermal camera for iOS w/ Lightning Connector- CES 2015
Last year FLIR announced the FLIR One for iPhone 5/5s, but came out just before the iPhone 6 was released. This year, FLIR is showing off an iOS accessory with a Lightning connector. So, you can attach this to any compatible iOS device and utilize the thermal feature. The device has its own rechargeable battery which should last about two hours. The FLIR One for iOS is expected to ship mid 2015 and no pricing is yet available.
iDevices Switch offers iOS 8 HomeKit compatibility - CES 2015
Switch from iDevices is one of the first home automation kits to utilize Apple's Homekit. Switch is expected to ship in April for $50.
Upcoming Transwarp from OWC brings better than Fusion Drive to older Macs0 CES 2015
Other World Computing introduced a software similar to Apple's Fusion Drive. Transwarp is expected later this year and will allow Macs with an internal HDD to add an external SSD for improved performance. Transwarp will automatically move the most frequently accessed documents to the SSD for SSD-like speed while still offering large capacity storage on the HDD. Unlike Fusion Drive, Transwarp is a mirrored RAID system so if one drive fails you will retain your data.
Anova Bluetooth Sous Vide Cooker - CES 2015
Sous Vide is basically you put your food in a plastic bag, remove most of the air, and submerge it into a hot water bath. You can control how the food is cooked by the temperature of the water. A popular tool for this style of cooking is an immersion circulator. I've got an expensive model from Poly Science, and the Anova here basically does the same thing for 1/4 the cost.
Mountie from Ten 1 Design mounts your tablet to your display - CES 2015
Mountie is an interesting way to attach a tablet to your display as a secondary monitor. It should work on various Macbook laptops and on 2012 or newer iMacs. For tablets it should work well on an iPad 2 or newer.
Mountie is expected to ship next month for $25.
iPin Laser pointer and iPin BTtogo presentation gadgets for iPhone - CES 2015
Originally Kickstarter projects iPin Laser pointer and iPin BTtogo are being brought to market by hyper. The products are complementary presentation gadgets for iPhone. The iPin is available now for $50 and the BTtogo is available now for $45 and includes a micosd card to hold your presentation.
Griffin Reversible USB cable in iPhone colors - CES 2015
Griffin Technology Reversible USB cable comes in matching iPhone colors of silver, slate/gray and gold. The cables are expected to ship in two months for $30.
Griffin iTrip AUX Bluetooth and iTrip AUX AutoPilot for cars - CES 2015
Griffin Technology iTrip AUX Bluetooth and iTrip AUX AutoPilot are two new products for audio control in your car. Both will retail for $50.
NuMount VESA adapter announced for newer iMacs
NewerTech announced a new VESA-captable mount for Apple’s newer iMacs. The NuMount VESA adapter is designed to work worth with 2007 or new iMac 20-27-inch models. This includes the latest 5K Retina iMacs.
NewerTech says after the 2012 models, iMacs no longer were compatible with standard VESA mounts. The adapter now makes it possible to utilize desk and wall mounting systems on newer iMacs.
NewerTech says the VESA Adapter is an aluminum bracket that matches the iMac’s fit and finish and securely attaches to a VESA compatible system.
The kit is available now and retails for $99.
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