Posts Tagged ‘apple’

2013 Was a Huge Year for Android Gaming

December 17, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

For years, Apple has been the presumptive leader in mobile gaming, and it’s still in pole position. But if global trends in 2013 were any indication, its nearest rival, Google Play, is putting the heat on. That’s one of the conclusions of a “2013 Year in Review” report released today by app-analytics platform Distimo . Although the vast majority of app revenue in the West is still coming from gamers on iPhones and iPads, Google Play as a source of revenue leads in South Korea and Japan, two of the three fastest-growing markets worldwide. (The third is China, where Google Play is drowned out by countless competing Android app stores that Distimo does not track). Just how much are those Asian countries growing? Try a 759 percent year-over-year increase in revenue, in South Korea’s case: Apple’s App Store is still doing just fine, thank you very much: The report estimates that daily revenue for the Top 200 iOS apps grew from $15 million in November 2012 to $18 million in November 2013. But Google is growing its share of the pie at a far faster clip, with the Top 200 apps grossing $12 million per day, up from only $3.5 million the year before. That’s huge. Distimo’s top-grossing charts for the year further solidify the case that this growth is coming from Asia

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Not the Singles Lady — Apple Says Beyoncé Album Breaks Record

December 16, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Apple said the new self-titled album from music superstar Beyoncé had sold 828,773 copies since it was released exclusively by the iTunes Store three days ago. The company said that made it the fastest-selling album ever on the music-selling site. U.S. album sales totaled 617,213 for a work that included 14 new songs and 17 videos.

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Amazon Really, Really Wants to Sell More Kindle Fire HDX Tablets

December 15, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Amazon seems to be selling a lot of its newest Kindle Fire tablets*. But it would like to sell many more .  So here’s Jeff Bezos’ newest pitch : Buy a Kindle Fire HDX tablet today, and we’ll give you nine months to finish paying for it. Amazon started pushing its installment plan program this weekend, by splashing the offer on its home page. The basics: It is letting customers pay for its $229 Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch tablet , or its $379 8.9-inch version , in four-part installment plans. Customers shell out 25 percent of the purchase price – plus tax and shipping charges –  when they buy the gadget, and then spread out the remaining three payments in 90-day increments. There aren’t a lot of catches with the offer — for instance, Amazon isn’t adding any interest charges to its installment plan. But there is one interesting twist spelled out in the relatively fine print: If you don’t cough up the rest of the money, Amazon may semi-brick your tablet: “our remedies will include the right to deregister your Kindle Fire HDX device, which will block your ability to access Amazon content from your Kindle Fire HDX device.” Amazon rolled out its HDX line  earlier this fall. The tablets feature extras like a “Mayday” button which connects users with live support staff, and the ability to download some of the movies and TV shows offered on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video streaming service. The gadgets are supposed to compete with Google’s top-end Nexus tablets and Apple’s iPads, though Walt Mossberg says they’re not there yet . And now, an excellent movie about installment plans: *Though, of course, we have no idea what “a lot” means .

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15 Million Students Learned to Program This Week, Thanks to Hour of Code

December 14, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Hour of Code , a five-day-old initiative to get kids to take programming tutorials during Computer Science Education Week, will soon reach 15 million students, organizers said. From the start, Hour of Code had boosts from friends in high places . It was on the front page of both Google.com and Apple.com this week, and U.S. President Barack Obama even made a promo video. Code.org’s efforts apparently drove so much traffic to Khan Academy that the non-profit educational web site went down. But the single biggest referrer to Code.org this week was individual teachers and schools who used the programs in their classrooms, according to Hadi Partovi, who co-founded the organization with his brother Ali Partovi. The two are repeat tech entrepreneurs and angel investors and have raised tens of millions of dollars to help increase the dismayingly low percentage of computer science classes in U.S. schools

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Huawei Pulls Back on Network Side, but Still Hopes to Build U.S. Brand for Phones

December 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

While it is ready to concede that the time isn’t right to crack the U.S. cellular network gear market , Huawei still wants to make a name for itself in the market for smartphones . Globally, the Chinese firm sells a range of smartphones, including plenty in the middle and higher ends of the market. In the U.S., though, it has struggled to move beyond entry-level devices , mostly for prepaid carriers such as Cricket’s Leap and T-Mobile’s MetroPCS. “What is stopping us is we don’t have strength of brand at the high end,” said Executive VP Colin Giles, who joined Huawei in July after spending more than a decade running Nokia’s operations in China. The company has tried efforts such as sponsorships and movie tie-ins, but Giles said that changing the perception of the company will take time, and will require a sustained investment. “If you are serious about the U.S., you need to commit on marketing,” Giles said in an interview on Thursday. But he also acknowledged that there are limits to what the company can do: “We’ll never have the budgets of an Apple or Samsung.” One trend helping the company is the recent move, led by T-Mobile, away from large carrier subsidies for new flagship devices. That could help level the playing field, and let Huawei’s value shine through. Giles said that another factor that actually helps Huawei and other Chinese upstarts is the success that Samsung and LG have had in the market over the last several years. “People see where the Koreans were five or six years ago, and see where they are today,” he said. “That’s opened the door for companies like Huawei.”

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iPhones Dominate Sales at All Four Major U.S. Carriers

December 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Apple’s latest iPhones are topping the charts at U.S. carriers. That’s the latest from Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley, who says that the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c have been among the top three sellers at all four major U.S. carriers during the past three months.

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Twitter Dethrones Facebook as 2014′s Best Tech Company to Work For

December 11, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Sorry, Facebook — you can’t win ‘em all. Twitter took the top spot as best tech company to work for in 2014, according to job-listings and ratings site Glassdoor, ending Facebook’s three-year streak as champion. The social giant was bumped to third place, while professional networking site LinkedIn climbed to the second slot. The deciding factors? Some of the ratings on Glassdoor — which allows current and former employees to weigh in on their experience of working at a company — have said that the feel at Facebook has changed in recent years, likely due to the rapid scaling-up of the company. Also, a number of senior employees had left the company after it debuted on the Nasdaq in 2012. Of the Top 50 companies that made the list, nearly half of them were tech employers — including eBay (21), Google (6), Salesforce (22) and Apple (16). Nothing gold can stay, however. I imagine that Twitter, now a public company, will see similar scaling and departure themes, just like Facebook did in the months after its IPO

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Two Houses, One Cable TV Bill

December 11, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Q: I have a vacation home and I am paying for cable service at two houses. Is there a practical way to stream TV from one house to another and eliminate one cable bill? A: Probably the easiest option is to buy a Slingbox, a device that starts at $180. It connects to a cable box and streams the programming over the Internet to a PC or Mac, smartphone or tablet, using Sling’s SlingPlayer software. If you want to watch the streamed content at the other house on your TV screen, you can either beam it from a mobile device to the TV via a Roku or Apple TV, or purchase a small set-top box from one of several companies, like Western Digital, which build in the SlingPlayer software. Q: In my work I often visit places that don’t allow camera phones for security reasons. I currently have a BlackBerry Torch without a camera. I would like to upgrade to an iPhone or Android device. Do any of these type of phones come without a camera? A: There are no iPhones sold without cameras.

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Hungry for iBeacon (Comic)

December 9, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

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Sony Plans a 4K Fest for CES

December 9, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Sony may not use the term “4K” 4,000 times during its CES press conference and keynote. But it will surely come close. The electronics giant is betting heavily on the next big-screen technology to help reestablish Sony’s name as the kind of brand that consumers aspire to buy. “We’re [going] after the premium consumer out there,” said Sony Electronics president Phil Molyneux. The term 4K refers to screens with a resolution of 3,896 by 2,640 pixels, a significant step over today’s high-definition displays, but one that will take time to be affordable and widespread. (For more on that and other emerging TV technologies, check out this piece that my colleague Lauren Goode did from last year’s CES.) Sony already has televisions and video cameras with that resolution, and it is planning to expand into other areas, likely 4K smartphones and computers. “It’s clear people will want to generate their own 4K content,” Molyneux said in a briefing with reporters on Sunday. As for specific new products, Molyneux said we’d have to wait for CES. Molyneux said Sony is also working hard to drive down prices for the TVs and camcorders that can capture and display 4K content

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