Another couple of weeks, another iOS 7.1 build. Like we previously reported, iOS 7.1 is going through a long testing period with a tentative public release set for March. There are also about six planned builds to be released for testing, and the latest, iOS 7.1 beta 4 (build 11D5127c), should be released to developers soon as it is already in the hands of Apple’s testing partners. Apple’s last iOS 7.1 beta was released to developers on January 7th. We are told there are various fixes in this latest version, including fixing keyboard issues, problems with the contacts app, more changes to the phone UI, and other changes. We have heard from sources that with iOS 7.1, Apple is working very hard to address some large memory bugs and other issues in iOS 7 that have caused crashes and restarts for a lot of people. Additionally, iOS 7.1 should help unify iOS 7 better graphically, with various user interface updates across the entire system and in apps for a more cohesive feel.
The world thought Typo was a joke when word of its arrival began circulating a couple of months back. And Ryan Seacrest was involved! This was going to be terrible, people joked on Twitter. The thing is, there is a segment of smartphone users that refuses to give up their hardware keyboards. So the question is, is that group of people worth catering to? The answer… is maybe. Read on for my full thoughts on the Typo keyboard for the iPhone 5s. More →
The entire home automation industry is about to be upended by startups. Companies that are starting out small have a clear and concise vision: one in which your home and the many things in it can all communicate and work seamlessly with each other.
I have been looking for the perfect way to automate a room, a whole floor, and an entire house for the past ten years and have consistently been disappointed. Disappointed with the integration, the cost, the flexibility, and the ease of use. More →
Brand new BlackBerry CEO John Chen has written a letter detailing BlackBerry’s strength and strategy for CNBC, and it was was published earlier Monday morning. It contains humorous lies and is an obvious attempt to spin BlackBerry’s current situation into something less dire. Let’s take a look at Chen’s letter, line by line: More →
This might be hard to believe… if it wasn’t BlackBerry. BGR is able to confirm that the company’s upcoming handset code-named Jakarta — the one that new CEO John Chen is betting will keep the Waterloo-based vendor of a bunch of two-way pagers with web browsers relevant — actually won’t even have a physical keyboard. This is the one of the only features that people still try to cling to in markets BlackBerry plans to target with the Jakarta. We are also told the handset will run BlackBerry 10, so it looks like BlackBerry 7 will finally be phased out even for the company’s low-cost and emerging market-focused products.
I’m curious what price the Jakarta phone will retail for. Anything above $150 would be suicide — you can buy a decent Android smartphone in emerging markets for $150 or even a little less, and there isn’t a single thing BlackBerry does better than an Android phone. More →
Apple has begun seeding a new build of iOS 7.1 to testing partners, we have learned from a trusted source. iOS 7.1 beta 3 is said to bring several important bug fixes in addition to some new features, though our source was uncomfortable detailing these for us at this time. The new build has not yet been released to developers, who just gained access to iOS 7.1 beta 2 on on December 13th. Additionally, as strange as it may be, we are told that iOS 7.1 will probably not be released to the public until sometime in March. Apple has historically released an iOS update around January, but it could be that Apple’s upcoming iOS in the Car feature is the reason for the delay here.
Lyve is a new company on the scene, but it’s one industry watchers will have heard about under a different name. Black Pearl Systems, now known as Lyve Minds or just Lyve, is aiming to help make sure you don’t ever lose any of your important moments, like photos, videos and more. The concept isn’t new, but Lyve’s approach is incredibly interesting. It involves leveraging the fact that most of us have more than one device — a computer, a tablet, a phone — by offering a unique cloud service that can move newly captured photos from once device to another, even across platforms like iOS and Android, without you ever having to manually sync a single thing. None of your content is ever stored on the company’s servers, either, just metadata so there’s no concern about your private data being available to anyone else but yourself. More →
It’s been incredibly clear to me for years that BlackBerry as a company was on its way to becoming a complete failure. It’s not just that Apple had introduced a world-changing phone that would flip the entire telecommunications industry on its head. It really wasn’t that. What I saw, from being so closely connected to the company for many years and from all of my sources inside and around RIM, was a company that actually lacked talent among other things, top to bottom. It was a mix of a hundred different problems: company culture no doubt, leadership of course, but this was a company that was so backwards in its thinking, so off its game in just a couple of months after the iPhone was announced, that it actually went on to produce some of the worst smartphones in history. More →
I have kind of had this infatuation with gold phones… In fact, after my good friend Pharrell got a solid gold BlackBerry, I had to have one in 2006 (even if it didn’t work properly). Way back in October of last year, I found out about a company that was anodizing iPhones in practically any color, and as soon as I saw that they offered a gold option, well, it was on. I also had a couple friends who I knew would love a gold iPhone. So, I arranged for two to be sent to Jonathan Cheban and Kim Kardashian. Well… this became the anodization company’s most popular color choice, by an incredible margin. It actually wasn’t even close, and the streets soon became flooded with gold iPhone 5 devices thanks to Kim and Jonathan’s tweets about it, and the phone also appeared on the TV show. It’s now being reported that the gold iPhone 5s, the phone Apple has released today, was jokingly referred to internally as the “Kardashian iPhone” but this isn’t a surprise because the publicity of the gold iPhone started in December and gold iPhone 5s parts didn’t start leaking until around 5 months later. It’s entirely possible that Apple wasn’t even planning on making a gold iPhone until the company saw how popular the color was because of the BGR post, and the Cheban, Kardashian, and Wiz Khalifa (yeah I added that one in there, too) tweets.
The barrier to entry in the world of Sonos has normally been reasonably high. The company’s products sell in the $400 plus range, with the Sonos PLAYBAR retailing for $699. On Monday, however, Sonos is introducing the PLAY:1, a portable speaker that’s smaller and more compact than the PLAY:5 and PLAY:3, and less expensive as well. It sells for $199 and while it features just one speaker (instead of three and five for the other PLAY units, respectively), it really packs a punch. More →
BlackBerry VP of Developer Relations Alec Saunders hasn’t done a great job in his role. But to pop off like this in an email chain that’s sent to a whole heap of important BlackBerry analysts, investors and executives? That’s low, even for someone who has basically failed to try to corral developers and big name partners into developing apps for BlackBerry’s ecosystem. More →
It looks like there is going to be one more build of Apple’s new mobile software before the company releases iOS 7.1 — popular belief suggests that iOS 7.1 will debut with Apple’s new iPads at the company’s rumored October event this month. According to our sources, Apple has seeded iOS 7.0.3 to employees and partners for final testing. We’re not sure exactly when the new software will be released to the public, but we believe it will be sometime next week. The build number of iOS 7.0.3 is 11B491. Apple released iOS 7 to the public on September 18th as a free update for iPhone 4, 4S and 5 in addition to the iPad 2, iPad, iPad mini and the fifth-generation iPod touch. iOS 7.0.1 and 7.0.2 were subsequently released with various bug fixes.