Read original article on: 9to5Mac
While the upcoming iOS 8.3 will soon bring wireless CarPlay, improved Google login, and new emojis to millions of iPhone users, Apple is already looking forward to iOS 9. The next iOS is reported to come with “huge improvements” on the stability and optimization of its operation system. After years of adding flashy new features and designs, this signals a maturity of Apple’s mobile system, as well as underscoring the heightened need for better security measures.
Read original story on: TechCrunch
Charts courtesy of ben-evans.com
Apple just had the most profitable quarter of any company, ever. The Cupertino company announced on Tuesday the financial report for its fiscal 2015 first quarter ending December 2014, and the results are staggering.
The tech giant posted record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion and record quarterly net profit of $18.04 billion. To put it in perspective, that means Apple makes around $8.3 million per hour in profit.
Thanks partly to the holiday shopping season, a record number of 74.5 million iPhones was sold in Q1, which saw a 46% year-to-year increase.
One side effect of the rising popularity of “phablet”-sized iPhone 6 Plus is a 21% drop in iPad sales compared to year ago, but at 21.4 million, tablet sales are still holding strong.
Another source for Apple’s record quarterly revenue comes from its aggressive retail expansion in China, its third biggest global market following the US and Europe. The company reports $16.1 billion in revenue from the greater China region, up 70% from the same period a year ago.
Microsoft has unveiled Windows 10, the next update of its operating system, oddly skipping Windows 9. Touted as the most comprehensive platform ever, Windows 10 aims to combine the familiarity of Windows 7 with the functionality of Windows 8. Looking closely, it seems Microsoft has learned a thing or two from Apple’s iOS.
Cross-platform continuum: While Apple added continuity feature in iOS 8 and OS Yosemite, helping users toggle between iDevices seamlessly with automatic sync-up, Windows 10 has taken it one step further, providing a unified user experience across platforms and devices ranging from the Internet of Things to servers.
Task View: Designed to help users navigate Windows’ multitasking feature (and looking suspiciously like the Expose Mode of Apple’s OS X), Task View allows users to set up different desktops for various usage scenarios and switch applications between them with ease.
Windows 10 is set to be released later next year.
It’s been a busy week for Google on the native iOS apps front. Just over a week after launching a new separate YouTube Creator app, which lets video creators manage their channel on the go, Google is now introducing the Google Analytics app to iOS. Earlier this week, the internet giant further embraced iOS with the launch of its Ingress augmented reality game, while on Wednesday an all-new Google AdWords Express app for small businesses arrived for both iOS and Android.
Although most of these launches are mere catch-ups with its existing Android app, this at least shows that Google is not giving up on the Apple users yet, despite the on-going competitions between the two brands. After all, making those Google apps available across popular platforms serves as a perfect way to maximize audience reach and, in this case, to subversively infiltrate the user-base locked in Apple’s closed ecosystem with its brand presence. Such is the power of universal access and compatibility.
Amazon is bringing its Amazon Mobile Ads API to apps on iOS, allowing app developers to place ads from the Amazon Mobile Ad Network in apps across platforms. Previously only available on Android and Fire OS devices, the ad platform now can help better monetize iOS apps and gain access to highly relevant ads Amazon and its subsidiaries. If this works as well as Amazon’s “recommendation list”, it could potentially work wonders on iOS.
iOS 8 has a new feature which will use your iPhone camera to scan credit card information for more seamless purchasing online. What’s more is that website developers do not need to enable the feature as Safari will activate it whenever a credit card is requested and prompt users to scan within the keypad. According to eMarketer, more than 19% of US retail ecommerce will be on mobile devices in 2014. Expect this development to boost purchases from the mobile web in the future.
The connected car is a thing of the present – not the future. Already, news-making apps like Automatic and Dash have promised to keep track of cars and driving habits, uploading statics and data to the web. Those apps, though, generally work through Bluetooth on-board devices that leverage ports in the car under the steering wheel. Driving Curve, the latest iteration of these connected car apps, wants to bring the benefits of quantized driving experiences to non-tech-savvy users by removing the plug-in adapter feature found with many other car trackers. Instead, Driving Curve utilizes data from GPS satellites and the iPhone’s motion sensors to keep track of acceleration information, braking speed, fuel usage, and the distance of the route. Driving Curve’s founders have said that they’re open to monetization of the platform, and are presently looking to partner with brands and companies who will leverage the data they collect in meaningful ways. As of yet, they’re looking to turn driving into a gamified activity, awarding points for safe driving in comparison to other users. And, you have to be connected to the Internet to get the most out of the app: it’ll only work with wifi. Nonetheless, it’s a great way to take some of the technological barriers out of the way of the era of the connected, quantified car experience.
IFTTT, the popular productivity platform that allow users to set up custom notifications across platforms and devices, is now available for iOS and works with notifications. It means that IFTTT users are getting something they’ve wanted for some time: the ability to truly geo-fence and customize personalized notification systems. For instance, you can set push notifications within recipes, or tell the air conditioner to turn on when you walk in the door to a custom set temperature. You set a custom input, and the device outputs what you want, where you want, and when you want – and now you can do it on the iPhone. It means that location-based – and indeed action based – targeting would get a big boost.
Facebook’s Messenger iOS app has begun to lag behind other big names in the messaging space – namely the app it just bought, WhatsApp. Nonetheless, for the time being Facebook is doing its best to differentiate itself from, or at least compete with, its new acquisition with its latest update to its in-house Messenger. Version 4.0 brings group messages and message forwarding to the platform, letting users add friends to groups, set group photos, and other functions that have become associated with the concept of messaging in the mobile age. It signals that, at least for the time being, WhatsApp and Messenger will remain distinctive entities, with Facebook looking to profit from both apps while getting the best of both worlds.
Amazon is raising the stakes of showrooming for retailers once again, folding its “Flow” technology, previously found in a standalone app released by its subsidiary, A9, into its main shopping app for iOS. “Flow” is visual product search, allowing users to photograph an object and see details about it on Amazon, which is even simpler than the previous norm of barcode recognition. Amazon’s competitive pricing is its main advantage in comparison to retailers, and by more effectively using other retailers as showrooms for the products it sells, it has the potential to further extend its dominance in more consumer categories.