Tag Archives: apple

Does It Matter That HTC ripped Off The iPhone?

The Apple vs, Android debate has raged wildly for almost a decade now. Each corner fights fiercely to dominate the market. While their respective fans and customers will argue their merits until they’re blue in the face. But, the whole debate came to a big, public head this week.

HTC released its latest successor, the HTC One A9. On paper, it’s a fantastic addition to their line up. It has one of the best cameras on the market, improved graphics, and Android’s new Marshmallow operating system. It’s a brilliant phone.

But critics couldn’t help but notice one small detail. It looks exactly like the iPhone 6.

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Has HTC purposely copied Apple’s flagship design? Or is it purely an accident? A byproduct of inspiration and current trends? Well, the jury is decidedly in Apple’s camp, if you read the myriad blogs and articles on the internet. Meanwhile, HTC are claiming it’s Apple that are copying them! It’s getting heated over in Silicon Valley, that’s for sure.

Apple vs. Android

The division between Apple and Android users is almost tribal. A blind loyalty exists among the two biggest mobile operators. Apple generally has the upper hand in terms of design and usability. But, arguably, Android is the more powerful operating system. And loyal Android customers love the customisation. It’s always been fairly amicable between the two, but this issue is stirring things up!

What exactly has HTC copied?

Well, take one look at the new A9, and it’s not hard to see the similarities. The HTC has the same sleek design as the iPhone 6. The rounded corners have obvious connections with the new Apple design. And, most incriminating of all, the protruding camera lens is suspiciously similar. There’s also an antenna on the back, which Apple famously changed in previous iterations. Not to mention the familiar looking range of metallic colours which mimics Apple’s latest design.

Or is it the other way round?

The biggest argument coming from the HTC camp is that Apple actually copied them. They have called their HTC a ‘design worth imitating’, and they clearly think Apple have done exactly that. They maintain that they were the first to introduce metallic designs. They also claim to have been the first to put the antenna on the back of the phone. They might have a point on the antenna, but the rest of the argument falls distinctly flat. It seems the internet is having trouble believing HTC’s claims!

Does it matter?

At the end of the day, Apple and Android have been borrowing ideas from each other for a decade. Apple adopted Android’s keyboard shortcuts and their split screen mode. They also stole Google maps (though quite frankly, Apple can keep Apple maps). The point is that tech companies take inspiration from everywhere. In the end, it helps create better products. Is this is a step too far? Maybe.
What do you think, readers? Is the new HTC a blatant rip off? And do you care? Let us know your thoughts, opinions, and rants in the comment section.

iPad App Grounds Planes

pilots using ipads on flight deck

These days, we all need technology to aid us in our everyday life. There are so many apps on the market right now that you can control your entire life with your smartphone or tablet. It is not just citizens who use apps all the time, though – professionals also need them in their daily activities. It might surprise you to learn that some of the most technical career people, such as pilots, use this type of technology to help them. When the tech fails, though, there are catastrophic consequences.

Until as recently as 2013, the major airlines in the world tended to use paperwork on board. Pilots would often have to carry reams of paperwork with them, which seemed a little unnecessary. That year, American Airlines made the crucial decision to go paperless. The change would save trees and also save a whole load of cash in fuel each year. Aside from being better for the environment, this move made each pilot’s job easier than it was before that time. With the use of an online database and a simple app, the entire staff had access to all the information they needed. With much of the modern world using new high-tech gadgets, it made perfect sense that the professionals would too.

iPad Software

When the company chose to go paperless, they gave each of their pilots an iPad, loaded with all the apps they would need. While in-flight, the tablet means that any pilot can access a wealth of flight information, maps and features. In essence, this technology should mean that there are never any technical glitches. As we all know, though, no software works like clockwork. In fact, much of the time, it can fail you when you need it most.

App glitch (April 2015)

Last month, there was a glitch with the some third-party software, which caused the pilots’ iPads to stop working. American Airlines were quick to point out that the problem was with the app itself, rather than Apple’s software. The app in question was FliteDeck – a specialist piece of software that is only available to people within the industry. Unfortunately, the app stopped working for a brief period, which meant that many planes could not fly. According to sources, a duplicate database in the application caused it to malfunction. Without the app, there was no way for the pilots to continue in their jobs. That in itself just goes to show how much faith people put in technology.

Quick fix

When the problem arose, the officials at American Airlines were quick to act. The management team told each pilot to uninstall and reinstall the app so that it might work. Some people found that doing so solved their problem altogether. Failing that, pilots flying certain routes had to use PDF copies of the database so that they could navigate the flight.

Most airlines around the globe have now switched (or are now switching) to paperless systems. That means that the majority of planes will need to use modern technology on board. The move is one that should mean flights are safer than they once were because the app offers pilots timely updates.

Apple Sells 61.1 Million iPhones In Q1 2015

apple q1 2015 sales by product

The iPhone has always been a high-selling product. As one of Apple’s most popular lines, it is no great surprise that the phone makes the company a large percentage of its income. Annual iPhone sales are always extremely high, but in Q1 of 2015, the company surpassed expectations. In the first quarter of this year, Apple sold 61.1 million units. There is no denying the fact that the iPhone is one of the best-selling phones of all time, and now Apple have the figure to prove it.

Record sales in 2015

This quarter has been Apple’s second most successful quarter of all time. That means that there have been record-breaking sales in short periods. This period came second only to the last quarter in 2014 when the brand sold 74.5 million phones. It is, of course, understandable that in the lead up to Christmas there was a peak in sales. Despite that, nobody expected the high level of sales to continue into the new year.

In the same quarter last year, the numbers were nowhere near as impressive as they are now in 2015. In fact, at the time some investors complained that there was a decrease in sales. There has been a mind-blowing increase in sales between 2014 and 2015. In fact, in Q1 of 2014, Apple sold a just 43.7 million units. That means that in this quarter, the brand sold 17.7 million more iPhones than it did in the same quarter last year.

Users switching to iPhone

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has commented that there has been a noticeable trend in people switching to iPhones. While there is a broad range of smartphones on the market, it would appear that many users favour Apple over the vast competition.

Boost in Chinese sales

America has always been Apple’s biggest market and thus one in which the company promotes itself greatly. For a long time, though, Europe came a close second, but recent numbers show that times are changing. An enormous boost in Apple sales in China has meant that the country is now the second largest market for Apple products. The change follows the company opening five new Apple Stores in the region. The move is just one aspect of the company’s plan to grab the Chinese market. By 2016, there should be 40 new stores in the country, which will help to boost Apple’s Asian sales.

iPad Vs. iPhone

Despite the growing popularity of the iPhone, it would appear that the far less fashionable iPad is lagging behind. Apple has sold over 250 million tablets since they released the iPad back in 2010. While at first that number might sound impressive, it is a mere drop in the ocean when you compare it to iPhone sales.

Experts believe that the growing trend will continue, and Apple will keep selling record amounts of iPhones in Q2. With no new iPhone releases on the horizon, though, some customers might wait it out until the next iPhone comes out. That issue means that Apple could see a decline in their sales, at least in the short-term.

iPads And iPhones Hit By Piracy App

popcorn time

Don’t you just love sitting down and watching your favourite movie? These days, people don’t bother with the cinema as much as they used to. Why should they? Now, you can get all the latest movies without leaving the house. There are, of course, many subscription based services that offer customers the best TV shows and movies. Amazon Prime Instant Video is becoming increasingly popular, yet Netflix is still ahead of the game. But, what if users could watch movies without having to pay for them? The beauty of Netflix and its competitors is that they have a simple interface that allows people to choose any show they like. For a long time, pirate sites were not as easy to use, but that all changed with the launch of Popcorn Time.

Popcorn Time

A year ago, Popcorn Time launched around the world. The app was available for download on PC devices. Once users had it, they were able to access a world of cinematic joy without having to sign up to a contract. Once opened, the app looks much like Netflix. Users can choose genres and browse loads of different shows in seconds. The app connects to torrent sites and, once a user presses play, it starts to download the film. That means that the videos on the app are super high quality, if not particularly legal.

Apple’s guidelines

While users can install almost anything they want onto Window devices, Apple has high security. If you want to release an app onto the iPad or iPhone, you need to submit it for approval. Of course, there is no way that Apple would approve an app like Popcorn Time. The app allows users to get free content, which they would need to buy from the iTunes store otherwise. There is a legal grey area when it comes to the app as well. The app itself is not illegal, yet the torrents it accesses are.

New installation tactics

Last month, though, the people behind Popcorn Time came up with an ingenious way to make sure that the app was available to everyone. Users can download an installer for their Windows computer. Once they have it, it will allow them to transfer media from their computer to their iPad or iPhone. That means that people can start downloading Popcorn Time on their Apple devices with ease. Of course, it is only a matter of time before Apple shuts this function down.

Promotional video

In celebration of their one-year anniversary, Popcorn Time released a rather weird video. The video is a cartoon featuring popcorn people. It references a range of big blockbuster movies including the Clockwork Orange. It also features some creepy voice-over work. After many setbacks, it seems that this platform is still going strong. This video seems as though it is mocking those who tried to stop the app creators from releasing it. In the past, various companies have tried to shut the app down, yet it keeps coming back, and each time it is stronger.

Apple Releases New Emojis With iOS Update

emojis

In April 2015, Apple released its latest iOS, which promised to have loads of brand new features and updates. As with any new system, there was a whole load of hysteria, and many people speculated on what the new features would be. The system is available on both iPhones and iPads right now. Since its release, though, users have noticed a great number of problems with the system. One of the main issues with it is that some of the emojis appear differently depending on what version of iOS you have.

Apple’s iOS 8.3 beta

The latest system is the iOS 8.3 beta, which has only just hit the mainstream market. One of the main things people are saying about the upgrade is that, once you download it, it is impossible to downgrade back to iOS 8.2. Other than that, there are many new features that the new system offers users. The update allows Apple customers to use a better version of CarPlay. The feature means that users can sync their phones with touch screens in their car. Aside from that, the system has rectified some of the problems with previous iOS downloads.

New emojis

In the name of diversity, the latest upgrade has a whole new set of emojis. The emojis vary greatly in skin tone, which means that they are much more diverse than any previous images. The emoji keyboard has also had a rather dramatic makeover, meaning it is much easier to use the broad range of images than it used to be. If both Apple users have the latest iOS, there is no problem with these images. If, on the flip side, you try to send an emoji from a phone with iOS 8.3 to one with iOS 8.2, you might run into a range of issues.

For example, if you try to send a dark-skinned emoji from the new system to a phone with an older version of iOS, you will find that it is an alien. This issue has angered many iPhone users, who have taken offence to the problem. That is not the only example of the emojis not translating to older systems. The main problem with this feature is that some of the new emojis appear to be other things when you send them. That means that while you might want to send someone an emoji of a baby, they might get a nose instead. As you might imagine, this issue could lead to no end of problems when you are trying to communicate with other users.

Other changes to the brand new system

As if the new emoji keyboard was not enough to excite (or anger) users, there are yet more features available with the new system. As we have already mentioned, the system allows users to access an updated version of the CarPlay feature. There have been yet more changes to Siri and the iCloud, which should aid usability. The update is available to all Apple users, regardless of the generation of their device. Only time will tell if this update is an improvement for Apple devices.

Android Wear Soon To Work On The iPhone

 

android-wear

The popularity of smart watches means that every company is currently creating their version of the device. From Apple to Android, there are loads of different watches about to hit the market or, indeed, already on sale. These gadgets are much like smartphones in that they will have all the capabilities that most modern phones have. The catch? Well, of course, they are much smaller than the average smartphone. Most mainstream brands are currently developing these devices.

One of the main issues with the devices is compatibility. If a user gets an Android Wear watch, can they synchronize it with their iPhone? In the same respect, can an Apple Watch work alongside any other smartphone, such as Windows phones and Android phones? The answer is unclear, at least at the moment. Sources suggest that Google, one of Apple’s competitors, are close to developing software to work with iOS.

What does this mean for the gadget?

If they were to be successful, this move would mean that users could sync their Android Wear watch with their iPhone. That means that users would have a wide variety of choice when it came to choosing a smart watch. These days, consumers use their smartphones in every aspect of their waking lives. From alarm clocks and reminders to calorie counters and fitness apps, people use this technology for it all. Without the technology that syncs the two conflicting systems, users would have to stick with the same brand. For example, iPhone owners would need to get an Apple Watch to make sure that they can sync all their apps. The new software will mean that people can mix and match the tech they own.

Will Apple allow it to happen?

Ultimately, Apple has the final say when it comes to this new software. It doesn’t matter whether the Google developers can create the software – Apple still has the right to reject it. In order for users to sync the two systems, the apps would have to be available for both the Apple App Store and the Android store. If Apple decides to reject the software from their store, it means that there would be no way in which users could download it. As we already know, Apple has tight security when it comes to external downloads. With the release of the Apple Watch on the horizon, it would make sense that the company would reject the cross-platform app. After all, Android Wear is in direct competition with Apple.

Previous issues with external apps

Of course, if Apple does decide to stop Google from releasing this app for iOS, it would not be the first time they have rejected their apps. In 2010, the mega-company stated that it would reject any apps mentioning other brands. It is unlikely that this software would not mention Android, which, of course, is a massive problem. The jury is still out on whether Apple will accept the new app, but things don’t look all that promising. After all, Apple has no real incentive to promote a rival app to users!

iPad 5 Years Old, Microsoft Hits 40

microsoft vs apple

This year is a momentous one for Microsoft. After 40 years of business, the company officials have a great deal to celebrate. Indeed, when they first launched, there were many obstacles that stood in their way. The technological landscape was entirely different back then to the one you see today. Computing systems were not mainstream products – they were for professionals and those in academia. That meant that the Microsoft customer pool was much smaller and more niche than it is today. In its first twenty years, the company emerged as one of the biggest (and, of course, most powerful) tech companies in the world.

So, what changed? Well, simply put, Apple came along. The two companies have been competing ever since, and recently, it would appear that Apple have been winning. In the last five years, at least, it is clear to see a steady decline in Microsoft’s popularity. During that time, Apple have enjoyed quite the opposite effect. In fact, in Q1 of this year, the iPhone sales soared. The companies have, for a long time, been rivals, but is there any fight left in Microsoft?

Microsoft 2010 – 2015

The tablet changed the way in which people use technology forever. Somewhere between the smartphone and the laptop, this new gadget captured the hearts of the masses. For a long time, before the release of the iPad, the officials at Microsoft had been toying with the idea of launching a tablet. In fact, they planned to call this new device a ‘slate PC’ and believed that it would be much like modern touchscreen devices. One of Microsoft’s great mistakes here was failing to get the right technology to use for this idea.

The problem with Microsoft tablets

The main issue was that the officials did not plan to change all that much about the system itself. The tablets they wanted to launch would use Windows 7, regardless of the fact that it is a different device. These operating system issues were the source of many of Microsoft’s problems. Launching a product without a functional interface is no good at all, as the officials would soon learn. The Microsoft team were well aware of both smartphone and tablet technology, yet they did not get the timing right. Each time they attempted to launch a product of this nature, they failed to get the best software. While the experts were on the right track, they had no way of competing with what Apple were about to launch.

The success of the iPad

In 2010, the launch of the iPad changed everything. Now, five years later, it is impossible to imagine a world without these high-tech tablets. What made the tablets so popular was their utter simplicity. Microsoft’s failed attempts were targeting the wrong market. They thought that tablets would appeal only to professionals and workers. In fact, this type of technology has a vast and diverse appeal, and one which the officials at Microsoft could not have imagined. Apple’s iOS was easy to use, which meant that everyone could get themselves an iPad. By opening the product up to a mass market, Apple ensured its ultimate success.

So, what will Microsoft do next? In a letter to his employees, Bill Gates said that they should look towards the future. Only time will tell if they can change their fortune or whether it is time to switch off for good.