Report: Apple, Android Now 96 Percent Of Smartphones Globally

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Android has most of the devices, while Apple generates most of the profits. Together they control the global smartphone market. According to analyst firm and hardware tracker IDC, smartphones running Android and iOS accounted for just over 96 percent of smartphone shipments in Q4. However, of that,…

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February 25th 2015 apple

Apple Emoji Will Soon Be Much More Diverse

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Apple’s emoji options are about to get much more diverse.

The company has given developers a new beta of OS X, and inside contains a bunch of new, racially diverse emoji characters.

In the new build, many of the human emoji now allow users to tap and hold to see options for different skin tones, as such:

The various skin tones are also available on emojis featuring hands and other body parts.

Apart from the new human emoji, Apple is adding new family emoji to include more diverse compositions – as well as new country flags.

There’s also going to be an emoji for the Apple Watch, because of course there is.

Emoji is controlled by the Unicode Consortium, and late last year the organization decided to add more diversity to the standard emoji set. This is something people had been demanding for some time:

Most will say this is well overdue. They’re not wrong.

February 25th 2015 apple, Technology

Apple Offers Extended Coverage For 2011-2013 MacBook Pros With Video Issues

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macbook-pro110221210702 Apple is offering a new repair program that extends coverage for certain MacBook Pro models made between 2011 and 2013 that are exhibiting problems related to video. The program offers either free repairs on affected models, or reimbursement for repairs already paid for by users. To check if your MacBook Pro is among those covered by the extension, head to Apple’s support tool and enter… Read More

February 20th 2015 apple, Mobile

Apple Lets Weed Apps Into Its Store After Petition from Pot Companies

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Apples and pot have long been a popular combo—pot pipes fashioned out of apples are a thing—and now iPhones are a more versatile tool for enterprising marijuana fans. The company is lightening up when it comes to legal weed, lifting a ban on pot-focused apps.

"Every marijuana app developer we've talked to has seen a dramatic, positive improvement in their experience with Apple," said Isaac Dietrich, CEO of MassRoots, a social app where marijuana enthusiasts message one another and share pictures.

Dietrich sounded a bit triumphant today in an e-mail to Adweek, which reported on his Apple petition last month. MassRoots joined dozens of tech companies in the pot space that asked Apple to change its policies prohibiting certain apps from the store.

The weed apps contended that Apple seemed arbitrary in the way it applied its rules. Meanwhile, Google's Android mobile platform permits similar businesses.

Dietrich said he received a call from an Apple rep this week saying his petition was heard and the company would be more open to such apps.

"Our efforts were successful. The App Store is permitting cannabis social apps that are geo-restricted to the 23 states that have legalized medicinal cannabis," he said. "It is extremely rare for Apple to ban an app and then later restore it."

Apple did not immediately return a request for comment. MassRoots is now showing up in the iTunes store.

The pot business has been maturing since Colorado and Washington legalized recreational, alongside medicinal, pot use. Tech companies dedicated to the pot trade have flourished, raising $100 million in venture capital last year, according to CB Insights.

Still, in the digital world, there has been resistance to such businesses. Apps have faced censorship, and pot-themed Web publications have been blocked from online ad networks.

Social media has been punishing terrain in some cases, with Instagram taking down accounts that share pictures of the drug, and Facebook is known for strict policies against marketing from marijuana businesses.

Still, there are some signs that the rest of the tech world is shifting its position, Apple being the latest. Google search results have shown ads from pot dispensaries, and Twitter has sold ads for pot-based apps, for instance.

February 14th 2015 apple, Facebook, iphone, Technology, Twitter

Apple Adds More Security To iMessage And FaceTime With Two-Factor Authentication

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imessage-screen Apple has improved the security of FaceTime and iMessage, its voice/video and multimedia chat communication tools. The services received two-factor authentication today as an option for users to enable, meaning that even if someone uses their Apple ID email and password to enable iMessage or FaceTime on a new device, they’ll still need to use a PIN from an existing trusted device to… Read More

February 13th 2015 apple, Mobile, security

iOS Apps Can Now Be Twice As Big

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apps For the first time since the launch of the App Store, Apple has increased the maximum size allowed for apps and games distributed through its App Store. Read More

February 13th 2015 apple

Apple Brings Groups To TestFlight

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testflight Apple has introduced groups to TestFlight, the app beta testing tool it acquired with its purchase of Burstly last year. The TestFlight Groups feature allows developers to split their beta testers into easily-managed groups, to which they can send different communications regarding their app and offer separate instructions regarding what to watch out for and report back on. Actions can also… Read More

February 13th 2015 apple, Mobile

Apple Streaming Music Service Not Necessarily A Slam Dunk

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Basketball player dunking a basketball It seems clear that Apple wants to get into music streaming in a big way, and as Josh Constine reported yesterday, Apple could even be looking at buying Taylor Swift’s record label. With Dr. Dre and Beats in the fold, Apple looks to be setting itself up for a monster launch, one that could sweep existing players like Spotify by the wayside. There is a widely held belief that when… Read More

February 10th 2015 apple

iOS 8.3 Beta Arrives With Wireless CarPlay Support

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carplay-ios-8-3 Apple released iOS 8.3 as a beta for developers today, which is unusual because iOS 8.2 is only on Beta 5 and not yet available to consumers. The new beta offers a single notable feature as of this writing: Wireless CarPlay support, provided to TechCrunch by a source familiar with the beta and pictured in the screenshot above. CarPlay so far works only via wired connection, but a wireless… Read More

February 10th 2015 apple, Mobile

Apple, The Record Label?

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iTunes Record Label You better believe that when Apple’s streaming music service comes out later this year, it’s going to come hard. Apple’s MO is to arrive late but with superior firepower, as it did with the iPhone and will with the upcoming Apple Watch. What does that mean for its quest to steamroll Spotify, Google Play, Deezer, and everyone else in streaming? I’d bet part of it will be… Read More

February 9th 2015 apple, Mobile