Entries in iPhone (88)


Twitter's Vine App Comes to Android

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Android phone owners, your time to shoot and share six-second video clips has come. Twitter on Monday announced that its Vine app, which allows users to capture six seconds of video and then share it with friends on Twitter or within the app, is available for Android phones.

Released four months ago for the iPhone, the app has quickly became one of the most popular apps in the Apple App Store and has become a widely used social media tool with over 13 million people. President Obama has even joined the service.

The Android app has many of the same features as the iPhone app. Users can easily shoot video, share it and then explore others’ videos. Twitter has added a special feature though to the Android app called zoom. Other features, like hashtags and being able to shoot video with the front-facing camera, which was added to the iPhone app a few weeks ago, are on their way, Twitter said in a blog post today.

“Of course, this is only the beginning -- we have exciting plans for features that could exist only on Android,” Twitter’s Sara Haider wrote in a blog post.

Despite Android phones now outnumbering iPhones, Twitter and other companies have continued to develop apps for the iPhone first and then for Android.

The company also released Twitter Music in April for the iPhone. It said at the time the Android app wouldn’t be far away. Last month Apple announced that 50 billion apps had been downloaded from its store; Google announced that 48 billion Android apps had been downloaded from its Google Play Store.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Apple Files $53 Million Settlement over Water Damage Policy

DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Apple Inc. has filed a $53 million preliminary class settlement agreement in Santa Clara County Superior Court in California, potentially allowing $200 refunds to iPhone and iPod Touch customers who claim they should be covered under warranties, but were not because of liquid indicators in their devices.

A group of four class representatives were upset over Apple's liquid damage policy prior to Dec. 31, 2009, in which the company would deny coverage under the standard warranty and purchased AppleCare Protection Plan for an iPhone whose headphone jack or dock connector was pink or red, indicating water contact, and for an iPod Touch with the same description before June 30, 2010.

Apple iPhone and iPod Touch users who were covered under a warranty, brought in devices before those dates and were denied repairs or replacements because of a pink or red indicator will be able to go to a website for class members after judicial approval is given.

Jeffrey Fazio, an attorney representing two of the four class representatives, said he expected judicial approval in the next 30 days.

"They're both delighted, as are we," Fazio said of his clients. "We think it's a very good settlement. We think people will get real money and real relief."

Requests for comment to Apple and its attorneys were not returned.

The company has not acknowledged any wrongdoing in the settlement.

The movement to build a class started in April 2010 when Charlene Gallion filed a lawsuit against Apple in U.S. District Court. She and her attorneys proposed that they represent all purchasers of iPhones and iPod Touches in the country.

Apple's former liquid damage policy was changed around December 2009 for iPhone and June 2010 for the iPod Touch. The company then said that a warranty claim should not be denied based solely on a triggered headphone jack or dock liquid contact indicator.

Fazio said the issue with Apple's former policies was that company employees would allegedly base the decision to repair or replace a device based on the indicator without fully inspecting the device.

"If then they find after inspecting them internally, as we allege they should have done from the beginning, they find water damage, frankly, we don't find anything wrong with it," Fazio said.

Now, company employees first ask customers if a device has been damaged by water, then inspect the device, Fazio said.

So far, Fazio said, there are about 150,000 identifiable people who have made claims.

"They'll remember. I guarantee it," Fazio said of the potential claimants. "People who spend that much on a device and have to buy another one for reasons they don't believe were valid -- they tend to remember."

Depending on the final number of claims, people could receive about $200 from the $53 million settlement. If the fund is not fully utilized by claimants, the remaining funds will go to non-profit groups and consumer organizations, Fazio said.

Public records show that the agreement was filed on Tuesday, after an initial copy of Apple's agreement was leaked by Wired magazine last month.

According to the document, "liquid contact indicator" is the name Apple used from Dec. 22, 2009 to describe a water contact indicator tape it purchased from the 3M Company and installed in iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.

"They weren't designed to detect damage to an electronic device," Fazio said of the indicators. "What they were designed to do is alert a company that there may be a problem. And if they saw that, opened the device and inspected it and actually found a problem, we wouldn't have filed suit."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Sources: Google Working on Smartwatch, Too

KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The year of the smartwatch is upon us. According to rumors, Apple has a team of 100 working on a watch that works with the iPhone, and Samsung has confirmed that it is working on a watch of its own. And now sources tell The Financial Times that Google is developing a watch to work “as an extension to the smartphones using [Android].”

According to a “person briefed on the project,” Google’s Android team is developing the smartwatch. The source also said that “the [Android] project is separate from Samsung’s efforts.”

When asked about the smartwatch rumor, a Google spokesperson told ABC News that the company “doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation.”

The watch, like other smartwatches, will likely pair with an Android phone and allow one to view messages and incoming call notifications right on the watch’s display. Google did file for a patent describing a “smart-watch including flip up display” in 2011. This patent was approved late last year.

The wearable gadget space seems to be drawing the interest of many companies. Pebble, the smartwatch that works with the iPhone and Android, beat all the odds on Kickstarter, receiving more than 85,000 orders for the watch and more than $10 million from people who wanted to back the company. Many companies have also joined the fitness tracker market, including Nike, Motorola and Jawbone.

Of course, Google is no stranger to wearable computing items right now. Google Glass, those futuristic, Internet-connected eyeglasses that show digital data right before your eyes, is now undergoing testing, and Google plans to release a version by the end of the year. Google is expected to talk more about its Glass project and its next versions of Android at its annual Google I/O conference in May.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Report: Apple Working on Cheaper iPhone

DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Apple is said to be working on a cheaper version of the iPhone.

Citing people briefed on the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports the lower-end smartphone could resemble the standard iPhone, "with a different, less-expensive body."  One of the options being considered is making the phone's shell out of plastic instead of aluminum.

One of the sources tells the newspaper the less expensive iPhone may launch later this year.  However, no decision has yet been made on whether to go ahead with production.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


CES 2013: Audi Car Parks Itself and Picks You Up with a Tap of an App

Joanna Stern / ABC News(LAS VEGAS) — Forget valet parking. The car of the future can find a spot for you and then pick you up.

And the future has driven to CES 2013. Audi’s Connect car not only drives and parks itself but the iPhone is its key.

“Imagine you are at a shopping center and you want the car to pick you up. That’s exactly what it will do,” Annie Lien, Audi senior engineer, told ABC News.

We witnessed it firsthand. At a demo at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Las Vegas, Audi set up a working demonstration of the technology. Press the Pickup button on the Audi app, and you can set the time at which you want the parked car to come pick you up.  Tap the button again and it will turn on the ignition and come get you. No one in the driver’s seat.

How does it work? Audi has been developing its own self-driving technology, which it prefers to call piloted parking or driving. (It says it wants to stress that humans can take control at any time.) The car uses twelve ultrasound sensors to navigate and avoid obstacles.  It parks itself with a combination of sensors in the car, the garage and roads.

The hope is that parking garages will have computers that communicate with the car, telling it where there is open space. The car is able to make turns on its own and knows how to maneuver around the garage with external laser sensors.

The road to autonomous cars isn’t a short one. Audi announced that it has become the first automaker granted a license to drive or operate autonomous cars in Nevada. Nevada passed a law last year making it legal to test self-driving cars in the state, and other companies, such as Google, have been granted licenses as well. Audi says it expects the technology it’s working to be commercially available in the next decade.

Until then, we’ll continue to look for parking on our own.


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Google Maps App for iPhone Released

Google(NEW YORK) -- The long-awaited Google Maps app for Apple's iPhone is finally here.  The app was released Thursday in Apple's App Store.

Ever since Apple replaced Google Maps with its own Maps app in iOS 6 and on the iPhone 5 in September, users have been yearning for Google's map features.

"People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone," Daniel Graf, Director of Google Maps for Mobile, said in a blog post.  "It's designed from the ground up to combine the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Google Maps with an interface that makes finding what you're looking for faster and easier."

The app brings Google's mapping service to the iPhone and the iPod Touch (no iPad-optimized app yet) via a standalone, downloadable app.  iPhone users no longer have to access the service through the browser on their iPhone.  

The app also provides robust features, including voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transport directions, live traffic and street view.  Google highlights that the maps are "accurate" in its description in the App Store.

Google also highlights that it has worked specifically to make it a fast experience and tie in search and Zagat results.  Google says it will continue to work on the app -- in fact, users can even shake the phone to provide more feedback.

The new app comes as Apple itself continues to try and improve its own Maps app.

"We're putting all of our energy into making it right.  And we have already had several software updates.  We've got a huge plan to make it even better," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek last week.

Cook publicly apologized to users for the Maps experience just a few days after Apple's Maps app was released in iOS 6 and replaced Google's previous version.

"At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers.  With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment," Cook wrote on Apple's site in September.

Scott Forstall, who was responsible for iOS software and the Maps app, will be leaving the company next year.  According to reports, he was let go when he wouldn't apologize along with Cook.

Since Apple's app was released, there have continued to be numerous flaws found.  Just this week, an Australian police district urged motorists to use other mapping options.

According to reports, Apple decided to create its own solution after Google held back features, such as turn-by-turn directions, from Apple's app.  Apple also wanted to have control over its own solution, especially given that it was a preloaded app.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Flickr App for iPhone Goes After Instagram

Yahoo(NEW YORK) -- Eighty-five million photo sharing users just got some new tools.

On Wednesday, Yahoo released an update for its Flickr iPhone and iOS apps with several new features, including new ways to find and view photos, apply filters to photos, improved sharing capability and camera editing tools.

Markus Spiering, Head of Product for Flickr, says the update aims to provide an entire photo solution.

"The goal was to build something that is beautiful and easy to use," he says.

The app allows users to share images via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and email, as well as add data such as titles, captions and locations.  One can tap on an icon to see information from an image such as the shutter speed and camera used to take it.  The app provides some new tools to let you modify your image -- you can adjust the focus or crop and resize it, for example, or choose from 16 new camera filters.

From an iPhone, one can tap the "Contacts" tab to see photos uploaded by friends and connections, or tap the "Groups" tab to see images arranged in categories, such as "Food and Art."

"We put photos first," says Spiering, whose team spent the last several months developing the update.  "We want the user to enjoy and experience photos in the highest quality possible."

For example, tilt the iPhone to one side and the app displays a full-screen version of the image you are looking at.  To maintain the best possible quality, the app works in the background to load a hi-resolution version of the photo.

Flickr's app update and photo filter additions come on the heels of Twitter and Instagram's battle.  Instagram, which has become the hot new photo sharing service and is now owned by Facebook, stopped allowing photos to appear embedded in tweets.  A day later, Twitter released new iPhone and Android apps that allow users to apply filters to their photos and make small edits right from the Twitter app.

For now, the update is available for iOS only.  The iPhone, according to Spiering, is the most popular camera for Flickr users, so it made sense to develop the update for iOS users first.  Yahoo, which bought Flickr in 2005, also released updates for its Yahoo Mail apps on Tuesday.

Spiering says Flickr wants to make the updated version available across all platforms in the near future.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Head of iPhone and iPad Software, Scott Forstall, to Leave Apple

Apple(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Silicon Valley isn’t letting Hurricane Sandy get in the way of big tech announcements Monday. On the heels of Google and Microsoft’s big product launches Monday afternoon, Apple has just announced a big executive shake-up.

Scott Forstall, the senior vice president of iOS (the software made for the iPhone and iPad), will be leaving the company next year. In his absence, Jony Ive, Apple’s lead hardware designer, will take over leadership of software design.

“His incredible design aesthetic has been the driving force behind the look and feel of Apple’s products for more than a decade,” Apple said of Ive in a company press release.

The reasons for Forstall’s departure are not given in Apple’s announcement. However, Forstall has been responsible for Apple’s Maps and Siri features, both of which were criticized as half-baked at the time of launch. When iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 launched in September, Apple was knocked for its inaccurate Maps; CEO Tim Cook was forced to apologize to customers. According to Apple, Eddy Cue will now oversee Siri and Maps.

Apple announced that head of retail John Browett is also leaving. Apple announced that it will be looking for a replacement.

Apple unveiled its new iPad Mini last week and announced that it had sold 27 million iPhones in the 4th quarter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Apple Sold 27 Million iPhones in 4th Quarter; Earnings Lower Than Expected

Feng Li/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), the world's most valuable company, reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings Thursday because it's having trouble keeping up with demand for its market-leading products.

Inventory issues have reportedly affected iPhone 5 sales, struggling to keep up with orders.

The company sold 26.9 million iPhones in the last three months, up 58 percent in the same period a year ago. The company sold 14 million iPads, up 26 percent, and 4.9 million Macs, a one-percent unit increase. The company sold 5.3 million iPods, a 19-percent decline from a year ago.

"We're very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results," Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, said in a statement. "We're entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline."

Apple's "pipeline" of manufacturing and distribution will be key in the next coming months during the holiday season, which is traditionally the best quarter for the tech company and many other retail companies.

Apple earned $35.97 billion in revenue, slightly higher than the $35.80 billion some analysts expected. Meanwhile, its earnings were $8.2 billion, lower than expected.

Shares of Apple closed down 1.14 percent to $609.80 a share at the end of regular trading.

Tavis McCourt, analyst with investment firm Raymond James, said he expected slower growth in the next few quarters than in previous years.

Raymond James expects Apple's stock to reach $730 in a year.

"Apple is doing very well. They are taking market share across all their product categories, but the economy is slowing as well," he said.

On Tuesday, Apple announced the new iPad Mini, which is slightly cheaper at $329 compared to the $399 iPad 2, a fourth-generation iPad and several new Mac computers, including a 13-inch Macbook Pro.

Overall, McCourt said he was "pleased" with Thursday's product announcement, though Apple's main revenue driver is the iPhone.

"The iPad, though successful, is still only in the early stages of its growth," he said.

On Tuesday, Apple said it sold its 100 millionth iPad two weeks ago.

Apple had 3.2 million iPads in its channel at the end of June and may have bled the previous iPad inventory ahead of the fourth-generation iPad launch, negatively impacting the number of products available to the public, McCourt notes.

In July, Apple reported lower-than-expected third-quarter revenue of $35 billion, while analysts had expected $37 billion. The company reported higher profit of $8.8 billion for the third quarter, up from $7.3 billion the previous year. The company had sold 17 million iPads in that quarter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Everpurse: A Purse with a Built-In Phone Charger

Everpurse(NEW YORK) -- Liz Salcedo was a social worker who helped other people with their problems, but she had a problem of her own: a battery life problem. She was using her phone heavily, and by 2 p.m. on most days, her iPhone was almost completely out of juice.

Her husband decided to lend a hand and bought her a number of third-party mobile chargers. Together they rigged a system to charge her phone in her purse so she didn't have to chase down AC outlets wherever she went.

"We made modifications to it and it worked fairly well," Salcedo, 27, told ABC News. "Friends started wanting me to make one for them."

So she did. Together with her husband and now-business-partner, Dan, she has created Everpurse, a bag with a built-in battery charger.

The small bag, which is meant to fit inside a larger purse or laptop bag, has a built-in charging pocket. You drop your phone in the bag and it "automatically connects to the charger via gravity," says Salcedo. Salcedo wouldn't go into detail on how the phone connects; the patent, she says, is still pending. There will be bags that support the older iPhone charging port, Apple's new Lightning port, and MicroUSB ports, which are used on most Android phones.

A battery in the bag charges your phone, and a wireless pad charges the battery in the bag. Using inductive charging you lay the bag right on the pad. It works similarly to the wireless-charging Powermat accessories, but uses the Qi wireless charging standard, which is the same technology in Nokia's new Lumia 820 and 920.

"I think wireless charging is where we are headed," Salcedo said. "I wanted to do something that cut down on the wires."

That's also shown in the design of the bag itself. Behind the bag's inside lining are the inductive receiver and battery. You cannot see wires or the battery; Everpurse teamed up with two Chicago designers to craft the bags so that they look non-technical. The small bags will be available in different colors and materials, including leather and cloth.

But they aren't quite ready yet. With a prototype made, Salcedo took the project to, a crowdfunding website, which allows people to invest in and buy the product. Since launching last week on the site, more than 800 people have backed the project and Everpurse has raised over $125,000.

Early backers were able to buy one fabric Everpurse and one charging mat for $99, typically a $175 value, says Salcedo. For $119, Everpurse is offering a leather bag and one charging mat. The Kickstarter deals will be offered until Oct. 13.

Kickstarter projects don't always take off, but Everpurse seems to have struck a chord with buyers and other consumer electronics companies. While Salcedo says she will likely sell the bag after the Kickstarter run, she also says she may license the technology to other bag makers. Within the last couple of weeks she has heard from a few bag and technology companies.

It's going to be a bit of time before you can get the Everpurse. Salcedo says it will ship by March 2013. (Her plan is to make as much of the bag as possible in the U.S.) Looks as if some of us will just have to be okay with rigging our own purse-phone-charging systems until then.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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