Review: A week with iOS 7
iOS 7 is defined by renovation, but does Apple's bold new mobile vision pave the way for innovation?
Google has shown that it most certainly isn’t afraid to pull the plug on services that aren’t making money. More than one out of every three Google products ends up being shuttered, and the company’s popular Google Reader RSS reader will be added to the list of dearly departed Google services in less than two weeks. Now that we have all had plenty of time to get the panic and despair out of our systems, the rebuilding process can begin. There are plenty of options out there when it comes to finding a solid service to replace Google Reader, and it can get overwhelming. As such, we’ve narrowed it down to our five favorites and here they are in no particular order: More →
Verizon seems to have found itself in a fresh net neutrality controversy. GigaOM reported earlier this week that bandwidth provider Cogent Communications accused Verizon of “allowing the peer connections” between the two companies “to degrade,” which results in slower wireline traffic for end users. Cogent CEO Dave Schaffer told GigaOM that Verizon says that it’s not adding more ports to its peer connections with Cogent because it’s moving traffic for an unspecified video provider that Schaffer believes to be Netflix. More →
Apple was in such a rush to get the first beta of its iOS 7 software ready for WWDC that it didn’t even have time to finish the iPad build. That seemingly wasn’t enough to stop some developers from giving us a look at a the software formatted for the iPad, but now it appears as though a tablet-optimized version of iOS 7 has been captured on video. A Russian YouTube user on Tuesday posted a video of what he claims to be iOS 7 running on Apple’s iPad, and it looks like the real deal. Nothing is certain, of course, but 9to5Mac says that “based on the user-interface elements of previous versions of iOS for the iPad, the video does look like an accurate representation of what iPad users can expect from iOS 7 this fall.” The full video follows below. More →
Apple on Wednesday announced that the HBO GO and WatchESPN apps are now available on Apple TV. The company also added support for news channel Sky News, East Asian media channel Crunchyroll and music channel Qello. Apple TV users now has access to more than 60,000 movies and 230,000 TV shows from the iTunes Store as well as content providers like Hulu and Netflix. More →
It’s hard to believe, but Samsung doesn’t want to follow in the footsteps of HTC and release a Facebook-centric “Galaxy First.” The Korea Herald reports that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg broached the subject of creating a “Facebook-friendly” smartphone with Samsung during his meeting with the company on Tuesday and was promptly rejected. Given that the Facebook-centric HTC First has been one of the biggest duds of the year so far, it’s not surprising that Samsung has little interest in going along with Zuckerberg’s plans. One of The Korea Herald’s sources also notes that Samsung doesn’t particularly want to help Facebook in its quest to become the next Google since it doesn’t want to contend with any additional rivals in the mobile world.
As the iPhone 5S nears mass production ahead of its launch this coming fall, leaks will undoubtedly kick into high gear. We saw the first few images of the completed display assembly for Apple’s iPhone 5S leak earlier this week, and now the first set of high-quality photos of the new iPhone’s panel have been published by Fanatic Fone. The high-resolution photos show the iPhone 5S display assembly next to an iPhone 5 display, and they clearly highlight all of the design changes found on the new panel. As was confirmed in a recent exclusive report from BGR, Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5S will feature a fairly significant internal redesign as Apple seeks to improve on the iPhone 5 and possibly make room for new components, such as a fingerprint scanner. Several photos of the iPhone 5S display follow below. More →
Huawei, which recently became the No.3 smartphone brand in the world, may be considering a Nokia acquisition. Wall Street reacted violently, prompting an 8% spike in Nokia’s share price. This speculation is part of an annual summertime ritual. In July, we’ll get the rumor about Lenovo buying Nokia and in August, some British brokerage will speculate about Cisco executives flying to Helsinki. However, there is a very specific problem with the idea of any of these companies buying Nokia right now. More →
Microsoft’s first Windows RT-powered Surface tablet wasn’t the rousing success the company had hoped for, but that won’t stop it from trying again with a second-generation model. Following reports that Microsoft slashed Surface pricing for schools in a likely effort to clear out inventory, Bloomberg has reported some details about an upcoming refreshed Surface RT tablet. The report claims Microsoft will go with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chipset to power the next Surface RT, though NVIDIA will supply chips ”for some versions” of the new Surface. It is unclear how many versions of the slate there will be, or what the differences between them might be. Microsoft’s Surface sequel is expected to launch later this year.
Efforts to acquire Sprint have been a long and arduous fiasco for SoftBank, but the Japan-based carrier moved one step closer to completing the deal on Tuesday evening. Following SoftBank’s revised offer for Sprint that would see its bid increased to $21.6 billion, Dish announced that it is abandoning the race and will not revise its current offer, which is not expected to be accepted. Dish had previously offered a total of $25.5 billion for Sprint, including $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock, but the SoftBank deal is seen as the more promising option. According to Reuters, Dish said it declined to revise its offer because it did not want to match the break-up fees offered in the SoftBank proposal. More →
AT&T has come up with a very clever way to keep New Yorkers’ mobile devices powered up throughout the day. The New York Times reports that AT&T is building 25 solar-powered charging stations throughout New York City that will give wireless users the ability to recharge their phones in places where they can’t typically find electrical outlets. AT&T plans to deploy the stations in public outdoor spaces such as parks and beaches as part of a pilot project between the carrier and the city. Marissa Shorenstein, the president of AT&T’s New York division, tells the Times that her company views the initiative “as a commitment to being a part of the New York community as a corporate citizen but also as a way for New Yorkers to continue to engage with their technology as they continue to consume more and more data.”
HTC One users shouldn’t have to go without the latest version of Android for too much longer. Engadget reports that HTC is still planning to upgrade its flagship smartphone to Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean at some point, although the site says that “users may need to wait a little longer before it becomes available” for download. The HTC One originally shipped with Android 4.1.2 when it launched this past spring, although HTC vowed that users would be able to upgrade to version 4.2.2 at an undetermined time. Given how quiet HTC has been about the upgrade lately, it’s good to hear that the company still plans on making it happen if we don’t have any idea of when it might occur.
It seems like we hear more reports about BlackBerry’s revival every week, although those of us who live in the United States may not see it much in our everyday lives. It turns out there’s a good reason for this: Sales of new BlackBerry 10 devices have reportedly been middling in the U.S. while having much stronger showings in other countries. Barron’s points us to a new research note from RBC Capital analyst Mark Sue, who says that BlackBerry 10 demand “appears to be mixed by region” with “Canada, the U.K. and the Middle East… seeing the strongest BB10 sell-through.” In the U.S., however, Sue says that “BlackBerry has a diminished consumer presence” and is “seeing slower sell-through.” Adoption of BlackBerry in the U.S. may increase as more corporate IT departments upgrade their users to BlackBerry 10, Sue added.
In what appears to be a desperate attempt to clear out inventory buildup, Microsoft will offer its Surface RT tablet to educational institutions at shockingly deep discounts. The tablet is available to schools and universities from now until August 31st starting at $199 for the 32GB model. The touch keyboard cover will add $50 to the price, while the type keyboard cover brings the total up to $289. The Surface RT comes bundled with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT, which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote, and the tablet runs the Windows RT operating system, of course. Critics have blamed the watered-down Windows RT operating system, the tablet’s limited storage and high price for the Surface’s lackluster sales performance, and this current promotion could be an effort to clear excess inventory.