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Apple CEO: Watch is ‘profound,’ Apple Pay ‘fantastic,’ Alibaba the right kind of partner

From the Cnet.com article “Apple CEO: Watch is ‘profound,’ Apple Pay ‘fantastic,’ Alibaba the right kind of partner” by   

Tim Cook says the Apple Watch is “cool,” the iPhone will remain Apple’s top moneymaker, Apple Pay is in a skirmish with retailers, and he’d love to team up with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — Apple CEO Tim Cook said the new Apple Watch is a “profound” gadget that people will want to use so much they’ll end up running down the battery every day and need to recharge it overnight.

Of course, he didn’t say what the battery life is for Apple’s first wearable, a smartwatch introduced last month and set to go on sale in early 2015 starting at $349.

But Cook, in a wide-ranging interview at the Wall Street Journal Live technology conference here Monday night, did say he’s encouraged by the new “constituencies” interested in the device. That includes health and fitness fans and fashionistas, who haven’t been the typical audience for tech gadgets. Cook credited Apple design chief Jony Ive and his team for recognizing that the wearable, which works with newer versions of the iPhone, needed to be more personal than the company’s other devices.

“They saw that something you wear has to be more personable, more customizable,” Cook said. “When you begin to wear something, it’s got to look really cool. It can’t be geeky.”

Apple is looking to new product categories like wearables to drive sales growth as competitors from Amazon to Google to Samsung work to woo away customers from its key products. Together, the iPhone and iPad account for more than 70 percent of Apple’s sales. But even with the Apple Watch in the wings, Cook said that the iPhone, which delivers more than half of revenue and the majority of Apple’s profit, will continue to be the company’s biggest moneymaker for the foreseeable future. (Apple earlier this month announced it won’t break out watch sales when the device is released.)

As for the iPhone, Cook said the smartphone brings in revenue from apps and services, including Apple Pay, a new mobile payments system that went live last week. More than 1 million people activated the service in the first 72 hours, with Cook boasting there are now more credit cards activated within Apple Pay than in all other so-called tap-to-pay or touchless payment systems combined.

But Apple’s chief acknowledged that the company is in a battle with retailers who may endorse rival payment systems as they seek to avoid paying transaction fees to credit card companies including MasterCard and Visa. Last weekend, drugstore chains CVS and RiteAid said they won’t accept Apple Pay. “It’s a skirmish,” Cook said. “Merchants have different objectives sometimes. But in the long arc of time, you only are relevant as a retailer or a merchant if your customers love you.”

In a 30-minute question-and-answer session, Cook also shared his thoughts on taxes (Apple, he said, is the largest US taxpayer), said he believes law enforcement should go after individuals to obtain smartphone and other personal data because Apple doesn’t want to be “Big Brother,” and warned that some “kind of event” will happen that will raise public awareness of security concerns.

He also said that he decided to discontinue the 160-gigabyte version of the iPod Classic because Apple could no longer get parts for the iconic media player, and that the engineering resources required to update it outweighed user demand.

Fans who have been waiting for the company to step into the television market heard a repeat of Cook’s criticisms of TVs, but no news of what Apple might have in the works. “You work on your computer and iPads and iPhones one way, and then you go into your living room and you’ve stepped back in time. I think there’s a lot to be done in this area,” he said. “What we’ll do I don’t want to be so clear on, but it’s an area of a lot of interest. I’m optimistic that there can be something great done in this space. ”

Cook stepped onto the stage after Jack Ma, co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, said he would love to do a deal between Apple Pay and Alibaba’s own payment technology, Alipay. “I hope we can do something together,” Ma said.

While he expressed his admiration for Ma, Cook wouldn’t say what kind of a deal the two companies could do – only that such a partnership held appeal. “‘We like to partner with people that are wicked smart, with flexible teams that are product based that push us,” Cook said. “I think Jack has a company that’s exactly like that. If we can find some areas of common space, I love it. I love partnering with people like that.”

Here’s an edited transcript of Cook’s remarks.

On the iPhone continuing to be Apple’s biggest moneymaker in the next three to five years: The phone right now is the majority of the company’s revenue and profits. But that doesn’t mean the other businesses aren’t really important. And of course the phone is the sum of many things. Apple Pay is included in the phone. We have many services included in the phone. We have an $18 billion services business that doesn’t get noticed a lot but it’s huge and incredibly important to our ecosystem…In the long arc of time, there’s going to be a lot more smartphones sold and they’re going to continue to get better and better. I’m really proud of the products [we released this year].

In that period of time, the iPhone is still going to be the majority — at least 50 percent — of the company’s revenue and profits.

On the Apple Watch. I think the watch is profound. We’re super excited about it. We’re not shipping it yet and so everybody will have to see what they think when they start wearing it. But the thing I’m really encouraged about is the constituencies that are looking at it — these are vastly different kinds of constituencies. There’s the technology sector we always listen to, and that’s very important to us. But health and fitness is a new area. We have many people that are looking at it from that point of view and are really excited about what it offers.

And then we’ve got the fashion thing, which is totally new for us, totally new for most technology companies. I give Jony [Ive] and his team an incredible amount of credit here because they saw that something you wear has to be more personable, more customizable. When you begin to wear something, it’s got to look really cool. It can’t be geeky. It says something about you.

We think people are going to use it so much that you’re going to wind up charging it daily — overnight….Given my own experience and others around me, you’re going to wind up charging it every day because you’re using it so much that it’s going to need to be charged.

On uptake for Apple Pay and retailers like CVS, RiteAid saying they won’t play along. It’s a skirmish…We started last Monday. We’ve been at it for a week. I follow these numbers pretty closely. In the first 72 hours, we’d gone over the 1 million mark on activations of cards. Visa and MasterCard — we talked to these guys today, and they told us that if you sum up everyone else that’s in the contactless mobile payment at the point of sale, we’re already No. 1. And not just No. 1, but we’re more than the total of all the other guys.

Now we’ve got a lot more to go. We’ve got a lot of merchants to sign up, we’ve got a lot more banks to sign up, and we’ve got the whole rest of the world. We’re only in the US right now. We’re just getting started, but the early ramp just looks fantastic.

Merchants have different objectives sometimes. But in the long arc of time, you only are relevant as a retailer or a merchant if you’re customers love you.

I don’t know about you, but last year I had to change out my credit cards twice…This is a pain in the butt.

On Apple’s interest in TV and HBO’s decision to sell its content service a la carte. I think what HBO is doing is very smart. I applaud what they’re doing. They’re thinking about the consumer, and content companies win, just like any other company wins, when they really focus on the consumer. I think there’s consumers out there who want HBO but today it’s too hard to buy. Who wants to go spend all their life on the phone to get it activated?

I think it’s very clever what they did. I think you’ll see more content companies willing to do this, particularly if the mergers are allowed to occur…I think it’s the right thing as a consumer.

I think the current system has a lot to be desired. Content is really great, but I think if you go beyond the content, we’re living in the 1970s. Yes, we’ve got a faster pipe, and a faster pipe is good, but the interface into your TV is literally you’ve gone to a time capsule and it’s 30 years old. It hasn’t kept up. You work on your computer and iPads and iPhones one way and then you go into your living room and you’ve stepped back in time. I think there’s a lot to be done in this area. What we’ll do I don’t want to be so clear on, but it’s an area of a lot of interest. I’m optimistic that there can be something great done in this space.

On the health of the Macintosh computer business. The Mac business grew remarkably last quarter. It was up 21 percent in units. People a few years ago or just a year ago or two years ago thought that PC business was kind of dead. The PC business is going down — that was correct — but the Mac business has done well. We’ve kept investing there, we’ve kept innovating there. And we think the Mac has a great future.

With reporting by CNET News’ Shara Tibken.

 

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6 of 30 tips (from CNET.com) every new iOS 8 user should know

Yesterday we brought you a CNET article that showed you how to hide photos on your iOS 8 equipped I-device, today we bring a handful of tips from their 30 tips every new iOS 8 user should know by James Martin, if you’d like to learn more please click the underlined link.

  1. Get notified when your boss emails: Tone down the number of email alerts you receive by using the new Notify Me feature in iOS 8. With it, you can set alerts for any email thread.To enable thread notifications, swipe left from the message list > More > Notify Me.
  2. Cut the clutter: Double-tapping the home button in iOS 8 not only shows you the app switcher, but also displays your “Favorite” and recent contacts.
  3. Find out what’s killing your battery: Finally — finally! — there’s a tool that shows you how much power your apps use. The tool organizes them in a list starting with the app (or setting) that demands the most.
  4. Use the camera’s built-in tools: Apple knows how much its users like taking photos, so it included some really useful camera tools in iOS 8. You can now control exposure without affecting the focus, and even shoot timelapses. Get to know all of iOS 8’s camera features.
  5. Find My iPhone — even when your battery is dying : If you lose your phone as the battery is dying, Apple can now automatically save its location data, increasing the chances of finding your phone. In order to use it, you’ll have to enable the option in your iCloud settings.
  6. Hand-free Siri commands Want to prompt Siri without holding the home button? There’s a setting for that. With the setting enabled, you can say “Hey Siri” and the personal assistant will start listening. There’s just one catch — your phone needs to be plugged in.
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Steve Jobs Turned Out To Be Completely Wrong About Why People Like The iPhone

Excited about the new iPhone 6 plus? Steve Jobs would have been surprised. Check out this excerpt from Business Insider’s Jim Edwards or read the full article HERE.

The launch of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus — and the latter’s massive 5.5-inch screen — appear to prove that Apple founder Steve Jobs was completely wrong when he said in 2010 that “no one” would want to buy a phone with a big screen.

And while this sort of hindsight wisdom feels a little bit tawdry, it actually cuts to the heart of what is driving the $276 billion smartphone market right now: screen size.

Apple launched its new phone with 4.7- and 5.5-inch screens for a reason: Rival companies, particularly Samsung, have spent the past two years building a market in a space that Apple ignored — the market for people who want big, bright screens that are great for consuming mediaand doing work.

To recap: Jobs launched iPhone and its initial updates with a 3.5-inch screen. When the iPhone 4 ran into trouble because it appeared to drop calls when users held it the “wrong” way, Jobs held a news conference. He was asked, why not just make the phone bigger, so that the antenna might have more space within the device and thus get better reception?

He replied that he disliked the new crop of bigger phones from Samsung et al. “You can’t get your hand around it,” he said, “no one’s going to buy that.” He also derided big phones as “Hummers.”

By 2013, however, executives within Apple began to rethink that. Internal documents from that time show that iPhone sales growth was slowing, even though the market as a whole was growing. All the growth was in the sub-$300 price range and among phones with screens bigger than 4 inches. “Consumers want what we don’t have,” was the title of one slide in the documents.

Another document showed that Apple’s own customers placed the small screen size of the iPhone 5, 5C, and 5S among their top complaints about the devices. The iPhone’s small screen size actually seemed to be a liability for Apple, not — as Jobs argued three years earlier — an advantage.

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Hackers Transform a Smartphone Gyroscope into an Always-On Microphone

From  Engadget.com’s Steve Dent

Apps that use your smartphone’s microphone need to ask permission, but the motion sensors? No say-so needed. That might not sound like a big deal, but security researchers from Stanford University and defense firm Rafael have discovered a way to turn Android phone gyroscopes into crude microphones. They call their app “Gyrophone” and here’s how it works: the tiny gyros in your phone that measure orientation do so using vibrating pressure plates. As it turns out, they can also pick up air vibrations from sounds, and many Android devices can do it in the 80 to 250 hertz range — exactly the frequency of a human voice.

By contrast, the iPhone’s sensor only uses frequencies below 100Hz, and is therefore useless for tapping conversations. Though the researchers’ system can only pick up the odd word or the speaker’s gender, they said that voice recognition experts could no doubt make it work better. They’ll be delivering a paper next week at the Usenix Security conference, but luckily, Google is already up on the research. “This early, academic work should allow us to provide defenses before there is any likelihood of real exploitation.”

For more information check out Stanford University’s Security Research page HERE

 

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The iPhone 6 Rumors, According to CNET

Cnet.com recently published information regarding the new iPhone 6 by Apple. While all of the aforementioned information is stipulation and rumor cnet.com has been pretty good with their info during the last iterations of Apples hardware.
Here’s what we know so far:
1) The iPhablet 6 : You read right, according to cnet.com, the iPhone 6 will be available in its standard 4.7″ and a new 5.5″ to keep up with its bigger screen competition.
2) Released by the Holidays? :  That’s right, if Apple follows its history we will see the formal announcement in September and on shelves just in time for the holidays.
3) Sapphire Glass : Still a rumor but there are already videos on the web showing this super strong glass, even stronger than 3M’s Gorilla Glass. Could this mean fewer broken i-screens, we will have to wait and see.

 

 

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4 Ways to Better Secure Your Smartphone

4 Ways to Better Secure Your Smartphone

Here are just a few security recommendations to help keep things locked down a little tighter, always remember there is no such thing as Safe only Safer so lets get started:

1. Create a lock code for your device as soon as possible using either a 4-digit pin, a alpha/numeric password, or a draw pattern. This will help prevent someone from accessing your data when the phone falls into someone else’s hands.
2. Enable the Do Not Track feature in your phones browser just like your pc web browser.
3. Avoid answering calls from numbers you don’t recognize and afterward add them to your phone spam log if it is a bot call.
4.  Lock your phone down and track your phone remotely with Android Device Manager or the Find My iPhone. By doing this, in the unfortunate event of theft, you will reduce the usability of the phone and may even be able to give the police the address where it last pinged GPS satellites.

These are just a few precautions you can take to protect your phone but can be a life saver.

 

 

 

 

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Getting More from Your Iphone

iPhone Fixes and Flaws

Contrary to what some users will tell you, the Iphone is not without its own set of flaws and while they aren’t numerous they do exist. We can help with that though, below is a list of  3 common Flaws and Fixes that should get you in ship-shape in no time.

1> Flaw: Battery Drains Quickly. Fix: Turn off your Background App Refresh option. Settings>General>Background App Refresh. From their disable any apps you don’t want running.

2> Flaw: Lagged interface. Fix: Reduce unused apps and photos by deleting them or sending them to the cloud. Also, disabling parallax wallpaper can help as well. General>Accessibility> Reduce Motion *ON*

3> Flaw: Crashing Apps. Fix: Update all of your apps on a regular basis to reduce crashes. If the app continues to lock up double tap the home button and swipe the offending app closed.

 

 

 

 

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Getting the Old arrow-shaped buttons back… fast and easy.

Getting the Old arrow-shaped buttons back… fast and easy.

If your anything like me change is never something you embrace until you absolutely have too but after the iOS7 update many, like myself, found simple creature-comforts like the arrow-shaped buttons missing. Well take heart creatures of comfort its easy to get those great little buttons back. See the instructions below for a fast fix. Go to Settings>General>Accessibility and toggle Button Shapes on.
And Vioala arrows are back!