Posts Tagged ‘apple’

Apple Hopes to Usher in New Age of Personalized In-Store Shopping With iBeacon Rollout

December 6, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

After months of speculation, Apple today rolled out its iBeacon technology in all of its 254 U.S. stores, allowing the company to send notifications to shoppers’ phones based on their location within the store. The technology, which sends data to phones via Bluetooth Low Energy from iPhones, iPads and other third-party hardware Apple has positioned around its stores, will initially be used to prompt shoppers who have installed the Apple Store app and agree to be tracked to take certain actions. For example, shoppers who have come to the store to pick up a device they ordered online may receive a push notification-like message indicating that the product is ready and to swipe to view the confirmation. Another implementation triggers a message to shoppers when they are near the store’s accessories department and will prompt them to read product reviews and pay with the app’s Easy Pay function, which lets shoppers scan a product’s bar code with their phone and pay from the app. “We’re really excited about what iOS developers will be able to do with iBeacon, a technology we introduced with iOS 7 that uses Bluetooth Low Energy and geofencing to provide apps a whole new level of micro-location awareness, such as trail markers in a park, exhibits in a museum, or product displays in stores,” Apple said in a statement. The messaging efforts used in this initial rollout are pretty straightforward. But you could imagine Apple rolling out increasingly sophisticated use cases as time goes on, perhaps ones that recommend purchases based on current products a user owns or on online shopping behavior. But, perhaps more importantly, Apple likely views its rollout as one giant demonstration for other retailers looking to harness the power of mobile phones to give shoppers more personalized in-store visits via their own apps, whether it be special offers if a shopper spends a certain amount of time in one corner of a shop or information about products. Similar technologies have been out there for some time, but Apple’s arrival in the space will likely speed up adoption. The startup NewAer, for example, has been working on a technology similar to iBeacon for quite some time that supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and which it hopes to license to brands to use in their own apps. Its founder and CEO, Dave Mathews, said in an interview with AllThingsD in the fall that Apple’s entree will legitimize the space

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Apple, China Mobile Sign Deal to Offer iPhone

December 5, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

China Mobile has signed a long-awaited deal with Apple to offer iPhones on its network, a person familiar with the situation said, an arrangement that would give the U.S. technology giant a big boost in the world’s largest mobile market. The rollout of iPhones on the world’s largest mobile carrier by users, with over 700 million subscribers, is expected to start later this month, around the time of a Dec. 18 China Mobile conference in Guangzhou, according to two people familiar with the carrier’s plans. Read the rest of this post on the original site

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Why Apple’s Topsy Buy May Be All About its Social TV Future

December 3, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Apple raised eyebrows yesterday with its curious acquistion of the social analytics firm Topsy . While many have wondered what the deal is all about, many experts believe it points in one direction: the social television space. Indeed, Apple is said to be working on a new smart TV that most industry watchers expect to be the next big hardware play from the company; Topsy Labs collects data from Twitter that potentially provides crucial insights into social media users' viewing habits. And at first glance, Apple spending $200 million for a social media data company seems baffling, and there has been a wide range of speculation about what it means.

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Apple Gets Full Twitter Firehose With Topsy Acquisition

December 2, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Apple has acquired Topsy Labs, a social media analysis firm specializing in charting Twitter trends. Price: Somewhere north of $200 million. Topsy, one of handful of companies with access to Twitter’s full “firehose” of tweets, recently unveiled a search engine capable of searching through the 425 billion or so tweets published to Twitter since the company’s debut in 2006.

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One of the Year’s Most Addictive Mobile Games Doesn’t Seem Like a Game At All

December 2, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

It’s inevitable: When I tell people I write about videogames, someone almost always asks, “What should I play?” Since I’m not a reviewer, there are plenty of games I haven’t played, but I always have at least one game on my phone ready to be shown off; recently, that game has been an unusual one. Clumsy Ninja , which game studio NaturalMotion first demoed at Apple’s iPhone 5 event in September 2012 , finally made it to Apple’s U.S. App Store a few weeks ago, and since then it’s been on a tear. “This is not designed to be a hardcore monetizing game,” NaturalMotion CEO Torsten Reil told me in a pre-launch interview. Well, oops? It is monetizing well — so well, in fact, that it broke into the top-25 iOS grossing apps chart within three days of its launch. At the time of this writing, it peaked at #14 overall on Tuesday and has been hovering between the high teens and low 30s since then, according to App Annie (registration required). (As for what that means in real money terms: According to one report from Distimo, the top-10 grossing apps make at least $47,000 per day . Even if the app never crosses the magical top-10 barrier, that’s still a lot of dough.) So why does Clumsy Ninja monetize so well?

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So You Got a New iPad. Here’s Some Free Stuff to Read.

November 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

If, like me, you took advantage of the rare deals offered on a new iPad yesterday, then you’re probably playing around with the new device today, and finding interesting things to do with it. Magazine publisher Condé Nast has a suggestion for you, and is offering a rare deal of its own: A free download of the current issue of the iPad edition of its many magazine titles, including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair*, Vogue, Bon Appetit and Architectural Digest. Between the iPad and the iPhone editions , you’ve got very little excuse for that “stack of old magazines you don’t have time to get to” problem. And with the holiday season looming, who couldn’t use something to read on the plane, the train, or while taking a badly needed break from an overdose of family? To get them, go to the iPad’s Newsstand app, and download the app for one of Condé’s titles. Once there, click on the promotion, which is hard to miss. The same deal also applies to the Google Play version of the magazine apps available for Android tablets. It’s running through Dec. 2. * It’s worth noting that my AllThingsD colleagues Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka are both contributors to Vanity Fair.

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Apple Doesn’t Want to Pay the Feds’ E-Book Lawyer $70,000 a Week

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

As part of its punishment for the e-book antitrust trial it lost this summer , Apple is supposed to be footing the bill for a court-appointed “ compliance monitor .” Apple is not happy about this. At all. While it appeals the court’s ruling in the trial, Apple is now contesting the way that its monitor, former federal prosecutor Michael Bromwich, is going about his business. Among Apple’s complaints, filed in federal court this week: Bromwich is doing too much, by doing things like demanding interviews with Apple CEO Tim Cook, board member Al Gore, and Jony Ive (“whose sole and exclusive responsibility at Apple is to perfect elegant product designs,” according to an Apple attorney). Bromwich is charging too much — more than $1,100 an hour. Apple says this is “higher than Apple has ever encountered for any task.” Bromwich’s bill for his five-person team’s first two weeks of work: $138,432.40. Bromwich’s response, which he has sent to Apple and its attorneys as part of a lengthy back-and-forth over the past few weeks: You people seem to think I’m working for you. “Apple has sought for the last month to manage our relationship as though we are its outside counsel or consultant,” he wrote in a letter to Cook and his board last week. My fees are reasonable, and you have no idea what a reasonable fee looks like. Also, it doesn’t matter if you think my fees are reasonable, because you don’t get to negotiate them: You just pay them. The court will approve them

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Yep, It’s Looking Like an iPad Christmas

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Apple isn’t known for its sales, so when it does one, it’s news. Today it unveiled its Black Friday deals available both on its online store and at its retail stores around most of the world in a promotional email to customers. Basically if you buy an iPad, Mac or iPod, and you get an Apple gift-card worth between $50 and $150. And if you buy online but live near an Apple store, you have the option of picking up your purchase at the store today. Otherwise you can skip the crowds and take advantage of free shipping. While technically they’re not discounts, you can apply the value of the gift card to your purchase, and thus turn it into one. I started the process of buying an iPad Air plus a smart cover today from within the Apple Store app on my iPhone and by default, the app applied a $75 reduction. Here’s the rundown: Buying any iPad Air gets you a $75 gift card, while an iPad mini gets you a $50 card. Buy a Mac, either an iMac, a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, and you’ll get a $150 gift card. An iPod touch will get you a $50 a gift card; An iPod nano of Apple TV gets you a $25 gift card. The deal also applies for a few accessories, some Apple made, some from third parties. An Apple Time Capsule will get you a $50 gift card.

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Tablet Buyer’s Wi-Fi Goof

November 27, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Q: I think we may have goofed. We bought a tablet that claims to be “Wi-Fi only.” Can it be activated to handle 4G cellular data? A: It’s highly unlikely. To use cellular data, a tablet needs extra chips, antennas, and other hardware and software, similar to what a smartphone includes. If it says “Wi-Fi only,” that very likely means it lacks this hardware. In fact, if you compare the specs on, say, an iPad, or a Google Nexus 7 tablet, you’ll see that, not only are the prices higher for the 4G cellular versions, but they weigh slightly more, to accommodate the cellular gear. A: I am trying to monitor my teenagers’ iPhones. I bought an app called PhoneSheriff based upon good reviews. However when I went to install it, it says to ensure the targeted iPhone is “Jailbroken.” I believe this will void the Apple warranties. Is there anything I can do to monitor my teenagers’ iPhones without jailbreaking? A: There’s an app called TeenSafe that claims to be the only monitoring system for iPhones that doesn’t require that the target phone be jailbroken, which essentially means hacking the phone to accept apps that Apple hasn’t approved. It apparently works via the Web and relies on your knowing your children’s Apple IDs and passwords (presumably, even if they change). I haven’t tested or reviewed the app, so I can’t recommend it. Email Walt at mossberg@wsj.com .

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Here Comes the "Made for iPhone" Hearing Aid

November 25, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Apple is collaborating with Denmark’s GN Store Nord, the world’s fourth-largest hearing-aid maker, to develop a hearing aid that integrates with the iPhone . Dubbed the ReSound LiNX, the device would stream voice and music from the iPhone over a 2.4 GHz Bluetooth connection. When it arrives at market during the first quarter of 2014, the LiNX will be the first “Made for iPhone” hearing aid .

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