| iTunes Radio usage passes Spotify and Google Play
Barely six months after it debuted, Apple's iTunes Radio has already eclipsed Spotify and Google Play All Access (and others) to become the third most popular music streaming service in the US, according to a new report from Statista.
Number two at 9-percent is iHeart Radio and number one at 31-percent is Pandora. iTunes came in at 8-percent. Pandora is beating out everyone by a large margin, so they’re the clear leader. iHeart Radio seems to specialize more in terrestrial radio and original content, so I’m not sure I’d place them in the same boat as Pandora, Spotify, Google, and iTunes. So when it comes to winning the ears of music streaming customers, iTunes could be considered #2 in just six months.
iOS 7.1 makes iPhone 4 tolerable
Andrew Cunningham for Ars:
If you're sticking with the iPhone 4 for another year, iOS 7.1 makes performance tolerable enough that using the phone isn't unbearable.
That seems to sum it up nicely. The iPhone 4 is pretty old, but Apple kept selling it so it may not be that old to many users. They could have bought one as recently as last September. Technically it was even still on sale when iOS 7 was released. That’s the downside of selling old hardware to meet price points. iOS 7.1 seems an honest attempt to make it OK, although, as the article states, this is as good as it’s going to get. iPhone 4 users will likely want to stick with iOS 7.1.x until their next phone, which for many may mean an early upgrade or skipping iOS 8.
Nice video overview iOS 7 UI changes
Here's a nice rundown of changes in iOS 7.1. There are numerous UI tweaks to address many usability complaints. Not sure I'm a fan of everything, but a lot of the UX stuff sacrificed in the name of modernization has been adjusted to make it a little more obvious what's going on. Also some options to improve usability with iOS 7 visual styles.
Evernote launches Pebble app
Pebble of course is the smartphone watch and not long ago they opened up their app API for third-party developers. Evernote announced their own app for the Pebble. While you still need to be linked to your smartphone, this kind of cool. We use a different app for grocery lists, but I could see this being particularly handy when pushing a cart around the store. Holding your phone while pushing the cart, especially with a grabby toddler in the seat, can be awkward. Ticking items off on your watch seems neat, among other features.
With this integration, notebooks, notes, shortcuts, tags, check lists, and reminders are easily accessible. The screen text is clear so you can read emails, recipes, addresses, or meeting notes from Evernote right on your wrist. Search notes by location to quickly find archived client notes for your next business meeting. Have you ever tried to juggle a shopping cart and a mobile phone at the market? Tick off checklists for groceries with the Pebble, which syncs to Evernote, for a hands-free shopping experience. Evernote Reminders are supported, so you’ll always have your notifications and to-dos close to you.
The Evernote app is available now in the Pebble app store.
Wello iPhone case delivers suite of biometric readings
Quantified health is a booming sector for mobile. Gadgets, software, and gizmos to measure activity and health was one of the big themes this year at CES. Wello is an iPhone case with a an array of sensors to give a snapshot of your body’s vitals. Heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen, respiration, temperature, and other measurements. What’s really cool is it will sync with other fitness gadgets. No specifics on that are given, but likely the apps that currently talk together with an open format will be supported.
The case should hold a charge for two months, although I’d guess that would depend on how frequently it’s used.
The concept looks interesting. The idea of putting it on a phone case means you’ve got it where ever you’re at, which will mean you’ll be more likely to check your vitals. As an instrument though, I might prefer it as a Bluetooth device that wouldn’t lock me into a specific phone or require me to put it on as a case when I wanted to use it.
Wello is available now for pre-order for $199.
Walk through video on upgrading Mac Pro CPU
Other World Computing has a detailed walk through video for upgrading the Mac Pro CPU.The process is involved, but doesn’t look anything too tricky beyond lots of steps. Considering the cost of the components, you’ll definitely want to feel comfortable in the procedure.
The advantage here is if you buy a lower-end Mac Pro there’s a path for upgrading. Also in the future there may be a path for next generation upgrades, as long as they match the FCLGA2011 socket.
OWC sells Xeon upgrades with prices starting at $1249 for an 8 core 2.6 GHz CPu and $2927 for a 12 core 2.7 GHz model.
Podcast: iPhone 6 rumors, CarPlay, Titanfall (#107)
This week Apple rolled out more details about its car efforts. CarPlay will be adopted by a number of manufacturers that link Apple's devices to your car's in-dash system. Also like the first robins of spring, it's that time of year iPhone rumors start cropping up. And we'll talk about next week's big gaming release Titanfall. We're excited.
New app aims to get you out of awkward situations
So, basically you trigger, or I guess Tickle, the iPhone’s accelerometer and it will fake a phone call. It’s not available yet, but you can sign up to be notified.
Hackintosh: Updating to OS X 10.9.2 + Tips (#21)
I wanted to get this up last week, but here it is. This walks through updating the Hackintosh OS. I also offer some tips for a smooth upgrade.
Twelve South announces SurfacePad for iPad mini
Made with genuine Napa leather, the super-smooth cover doubles as a hands-free viewing stand and desktop typing wedge. SurfacePad for iPad mini is available now in Pop Red, Mod White and Jet Black for $69.99.
This case wraps around the entire iPad. It looks like a tight design as a leather second skin. The SurfacePad can be used as a display or typing stand. Twelve South says the stand supports two viewing angles of 70 and 60-degrees. Magnets are embedded in the cover to keep the case closed when not in use and also functions as a sleep-wake trigger. Magnets also assist in supporting the stand functions. The inside of the case is microfiber to help protect the iPad surface.
For the iPad Air, Twelve South says a larger version is in the works.
Apple-Tesla battery connection
An interesting back of envelop math on battery tech and Apple’s interest in Tesla. Apple is estimated to buy about 24,000 metric tons of batteries for 2014. Tesla is expected to put about 21,000 metric tons of batteries in their cars this year.
According to Tesla, the plant’s capacity in 2020 will be higher than what the entire world produced in 2013.
A more likely explanation for Apple’s conversation with Tesla might be something Apple does all the time: Sit with a potential supplier and discuss payment in advance as a way to secure supply of a critical component.
Report: Mobile Internet access passes desktop
Mobile devices accounted for 55% of Internet usage in the United States in January. Apps made up 47% of Internet traffic and 8% of traffic came from mobile browsers...
It’s not completely surprising mobile access is gaining on desktop usage. What I didn’t expect is how much of that is coming from apps for web browsers. A lot of streaming video and audio, I’d guess
Random Steve Jobs stories
This Quora thread is making the rounds. It features some interesting stories of people running into Jobs. There are a several good ones. I like the one where someone’s car broke down in front of the Jobs’ house.
As I was putting my jacket on, I heard a call from across the street behind me – the Jobs’ driveway – “British or Italian?”. It was Jobs’ lovely wife Laurene. “British,” I said, “and acting like it.” “You want a beer?,” she said. I tried to decline (shocked I guess at first), but she insisted, said “you’re not going anywhere”, and walked back in the house – only to return with two bottles of beer.
I was determined not to let on that I knew exactly who I was talking to – I was so afraid of being cast a stalker – but the scene was already getting weird for me, standing by my broken car having a beer with Steve Job’s wife. So it got weirder.
Apple rebrands iOS in the Car as CarPlay
Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will premiere CarPlay to their drivers this week, while additional auto manufacturers bringing CarPlay to their drivers down the road include BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp.
Apple’s automotive initiatives seem to be gaining momentum. Below is a promo from Volvo.
Video: Kershaw Ken Onion Chive Pocket Knife
Just one of my favorite things. This is a small 2-inch pocket knife that weighs in at about 2 ounces. Perfect for every day carry for professionals. Stainless steep both blade and body.
Podcast: Apple's security issue, XBox One grievances + dashboard update
This week we talk about the big security exploit on both iOS and OS X. How did it happen and the delay in updating the Mac. Also XBox One is getting a big update and we air our grievances and hopes for improvements.
David Fincher may direct Jobs movie
The Hollywood Reporter:
Fincher is in early talks to helm the untitled film based on Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography of the Apple co-founder, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. If a deal comes together, the film would reunite the director with Oscar-winning Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin, who recently finished the adaptation, and Social Network producer Scott Rudin. Mark Gordon and Guymon Casady also are producing.
Fincher seems to excel at procedural type storytelling, which would seem to fit well with the Jobs book.
FCC Launches iOS broadband survey tester/tool
The FCC Speed Test app is an expansion of the Measuring Broadband America program from fixed to mobile broadband.
The Measuring Broadband America program, which has released three reports on fixed broadband networks, is a private-public partnership designed to bring greater clarity and competition to the broadband service marketplace. Testing data will provide valuable information to consumers, industry, and the Commission on the deployment of networks across the United States.
OS X security update now available
Apple has finally posted a security fix for the SSL venerability. Updates are available for OS X 10.9 Mavericks, 10.8 Mountain Lion, and 10.7 Lion.
Hackintosh Series: Haswell OS X Install and Config + Tips (#20)
This video goes though installing OS X and configuring basic features. It's part of a larger series on building a Haswell Hackintosh similar to an iMac hardware.
Tips for securing your Mac and data from theft
Here’s a summary of what you should do to prepare your Macs right now for the possibility of theft. It won’t eliminate theft but it will greatly reduce the damage from such events and make it more likely that your device will return to you.
A good rundown of options available for Mac users. Some of this is also good practices for general data security and safety.
Tainted Love backed up by floppy drives
On the delay updating OS X on gotofail
Kristin Paget on gotofail
WHAT THE EVER LOVING F**K, APPLE??!?!! Did you seriously just use one of your platforms to drop an SSL 0day on your other platform? As I sit here on my mac I’m vulnerable to this and there’s nothing I can do, because you couldn’t release a patch for both platforms at the same time? You do know there’s a bunch of live, working exploits for this out in the wild right now, right? Your advisory is entirely focussed on iOS so we know nothing of OS X yet (other than the fact that the exploits work) – could you tell us what in OS X is vulnerable? Is mail.app vulnerable? Should I be worried about malicious SSL/TLS mailservers? How about your update system itself – is that vulnerable?
Come the hell on, Apple. You just dropped an ugly 0day on us and then went home for the weekend – goto fail indeed.
Apple’s gotofail security gap extends to OS X
Late last week Apple posted an iOS update that patches a security vulnerability. People should update their iOS devices quickly to address this issue specific to Safari SSL connections. It appears, however, the code is shared with OS X and as result Mac apps also vulnerable.
Andy Greenberg for Forbes:
Apple revealed a critical bug in its implementation of encryption in iOS, requiring an emergency patch. Then researchers found the same bug is also included in Apple’s desktop OSX operating system, a gaping Web security hole that leaves users of Safari at risk of having their traffic hijacked. Now one researcher has found evidence that the bug extends beyond Apple’s browser to other applications including Mail, Twitter, Facetime, iMessage and even Apple’s software update mechanism.
Until Apple posts a fix, users may want to do their secure browsing using Firefox or Chrome, which apparently don't utilize the exposed framework.
Trailer for Mike Judge’s Silicon Valley
Coming April 6 to HBO. Judge himself apparently was an engineer in Silicon Valley and he has quite the track record on irreverent commies with movies like with Office Space and Idiocracy.
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