Posts tagged Apple

Apple Watch Battery Supposedly Lasts Only A Couple Of Hours Under Heavy Use

Woe be to anyone actually planning to use an Apple Watch. 

According to sources cited by Apple blog 9to5Mac, the still-unreleased iOS smartwatch’s battery life lasts only for a couple hours of heavy use. 

See also: What You Can Do With The Apple Watch

Standby time looks better; it can hang on for up to 2 or 3 days. But that presumes you don’t actually use anything that makes the gadget “smart.” 

A Dismal Power Play

Apple never willingly discloses the battery capacity of its mobile devices. Typically, those specifications and more come to light after an Apple product launches and gets autopsied—er, a proper teardown—by the tech community. 

So it’s no surprise that the company didn’t specify details about its upcoming smartwatch’s power cell. At its press conference last year, the only thing the company would say was that it would require nightly charging. 

The latest report seems to dig in a bit more. Its unnamed sources, whose relationship to Apple (if any) was not disclosed, said the company tested the device in various scenarios. Through steady standard app use, the device lasted up to 3.5 hours. Intensive gameplay hammered the battery more, yielding 2.5 hours of life. Ultimately, the device’s energy-swilling processor and beautiful, but power-hungry display are some of the key reasons for the drain. 

Apple supposedly thinks fitness-tracking features could somehow yield better battery life. As illogical as that sounds, the company supposedly targets almost 4 straight hours of exercise tracking. 

A Gadget That Dies Before Lunch?

Battery life for wearables is a fundamental problem. The 5-to-7 day battery life of Pebble—with its e-paper, non-touchscreen—sits on one end of the spectrum, while rivals like Android Wear’s growing army of wrist devices sat on the other, thanks to limited life typically in the 1-to-2 day range. But if there’s any truth to this report about the Apple Watch and its scant few hours of functionality under actual use, that could represent a new low for smartwatches. 

Fast-charging could help ease the situation. The site also reports that Apple could be in the throes of refining its MagSafe charging connection to allow for speedier juice-ups. 

Although tech circles seem to be hot on wrist gadgets, the public at large hasn’t quite made them a mainstream trend yet. Previously, the Apple Watch looked like it could’ve gone a long way toward sparking consumer demand. Now, it’s unclear if customers, particularly those used to seemingly endless battery life from traditional watches, will embrace a wearable that could die before lunchtime. 

The Apple Watch is expected to launch some time around the end of March. 

Photo courtesy of Apple

View full post on ReadWrite

Apple Watch Battery Supposedly Lasts Only A Couple Of Hours

Woe be to anyone actually planning to use an Apple Watch. 

According to sources cited by Apple blog 9to5Mac, the still-unreleased iOS smartwatch’s battery life lasts only for a couple hours of heavy use. 

See also: What You Can Do With The Apple Watch

Standby time looks better; it can hang on for up to 2 or 3 days. But that presumes you don’t actually use anything that makes the gadget “smart.” 

A Dismal Power Play

Apple never willingly discloses the battery capacity of its mobile devices. Typically, those specifications and more come to light after an Apple product launches and gets autopsied—er, a proper teardown—by the tech community. 

So it’s no surprise that the company didn’t specify details about its upcoming smartwatch’s power cell. At its press conference last year, the only thing the company would say was that it would require nightly charging. 

The latest report seems to dig in a bit more. Its unnamed sources, whose relationship to Apple (if any) was not disclosed, said the company tested the device in various scenarios. Through standard app use, the device lasted up to 3.5 hours. Intensive gameplay hammered the battery more, yielding 2.5 hours of life. Ultimately, the device’s energy-swilling processor and beautiful, but power-hungry display are some of the key reasons for the drain. 

Apple supposedly thinks fitness-tracking features could somehow yield better battery life. As illogical as that sounds, the company supposedly targets almost 4 straight hours of exercise tracking. 

A Gadget That Dies Before Lunch?

Battery life for wearables is a fundamental problem. The 5-to-7 day battery life of Pebble—with its e-paper, non-touchscreen—sits on one end of the spectrum, while rivals like Android Wear’s growing army of wrist devices sat on the other, thanks to limited life typically in the 1-to-2 day range. But if there’s any truth to this report about the Apple Watch and its scant couple hours of functionality, that could represent a new low for smartwatches. 

Fast-charging could help ease the situation. The site also reports that Apple could be in the throes of refining its MagSafe charging connection to allow for speedier juice-ups.  

Although tech circles seem to be hot on wrist gadgets, the public at large hasn’t quite made them a mainstream trend yet. Previously, the Apple Watch looked like it could’ve gone a long way toward sparking consumer demand. Now, it’s unclear if customers, particularly those used to seemingly endless battery life from traditional watches, will embrace a wearable that will die before lunchtime. 

The Apple Watch is expected to launch some time around the end of March. 

Photo courtesy of Apple

View full post on ReadWrite

Apple Is Blacklisting European Users Who Game Its App-Refund System

Apple is striking back at users who’ve figured out how to abuse its new refund policy for digital purchases in Europe—by blacklisting them from future reimbursements.

To conform with the EU’s consumer protection laws, Apple rolled out a new policy last month that lets European users who purchase apps, songs, ebooks or other digital media claim refunds within 14 days of purchase. But some customers have discovered they can demand their money back on repeated purchases—apparently even if they keep the downloads

See also: How Apple’s New App-Refund Policy Could Hurt Developers

It may be tough to police everyone, but Apple’s ready to put the kibosh on at least the worst offenders who try to game the system. In other words, ask for too many refunds in a short time period, and the company will flag the behavior and revoke your refund privileges, iDownloadBlog reports

Apple has already sent messages to users through the App Store, alerting flagged users with the following prompt: “I acknowledge that if I download this app within fourteen days of tapping ‘Buy,’ I will no longer be eligible to cancel this purchase.” The user then has the choice of canceling the download or acknowledging the message to proceed while waiving the right to any refund. 

Clearly the company doesn’t want users treating the refund policy like a trial period for paid apps or to let unscrupulous types get away with shady practices. Its latest move seems designed to nip that in the bud. 

While the refund policy and its woes remain limited to Europe for now, the company could be eyeing it as a test of sorts for more universal changes down the road. In that way, how Apple handles refunds abroad could influence the way it approaches its App Store policies at home, which can directly affect the developers who stock its digital shelves everywhere. 

Photo by Ben Husmann; screenshot courtesy of Twitter user Rosyna

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Apple Supports Charlie Hebdo And Free Speech, Just Not In Its App Store

In what is likely the fastest App Store approval in iOS history, Apple took only one hour to greenlight an app that promotes a free speech campaign for Charlie Hebdo. Of course, Apple would never have approved an actual Charlie Hebdo app had the caustic—even scabrous—French magazine ever submitted one. (Which it apparently considered back in 2010 before learning of Apple’s restrictions and telling the company to “get lost.”) Like much of Silicon Valley, Apple is far more committed to the idea of free speech than it is to its actual practice.

The “Je suis Charlie!” app supports the Je Suis Charlie free speech campaign and Charlie Hebdo, which lost 10 staffers in a terrorist attack at its Paris office last week. The order to expedite review of  “Je suis Charlie!” came courtesy of Apple CEO Tim Cook, 9 to 5 Mac reports. Cook’s assistant responded to an email from Nice-Matin, the French news agency that submitted the app, 10 minutes after it was sent.

Free Speech For Me But Not For Thee

No one should begrudge “Je suis Charlie!” its fast-tracking, even though typical app review takes 10 days or longer. Prospective iOS apps connected to tragedy and the support of free speech are rare events, fortunately.

Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Mark Fiore, for instance—whose own app was famously rejected by Apple in 2009—has no problem with the speedy approval of “Je suis Charlie!” He does, however, see some tension in the fact that Apple fast-tracked an app intended to express support of cartoonists whose work would never have cleared App Store guidelines. 

“I’m glad they approved this app so quickly,” Fiore told ReadWrite. “What makes my skin crawl is that most of the stuff Charlie Hebdo does, Apple wouldn’t approve.”

See also: Facebook’s Got Us On Lockdown, Study Confirms

Fiore, whose work is comparatively tame to the majority of Charlie Hebdo’s catalog, ran up against Apple’s licensing agreement in 2009. At that time, Apple guidelines stated it would reject apps apps which “may be found objectionable, for example, materials that may be considered obscene, pornographic or defamatory.”

According to his Apple rejection letter, the offending content on Fiore’s app included political cartoons that referenced torture and White House party crashers. It wasn’t until Fiore became the first online-only political cartoonist to win the Pulitzer in 2010 that the Apple App Store had a change of heart. In the ultimate Apple mea culpa, then-CEO Steve Jobs reportedly responded to one of the many customer complaint about Fiore’s App Store rejection. “This was a mistake that’s being fixed,” Jobs wrote from his own email account.

In the wake of his Pulitzer win, Fiore said, “I received this Deep Throat-sort of phone call from Apple.” The voice the other side of the phone told him, “you might want to reconsider resubmitting this app and give us a call when you do.” Which he did. 

Speed When It Counts (For Apple)

The speediness with which Fiore’s second submission hit the App Store illustrates how quickly a giant company can make things happen once publicity is involved. Fiore made the call to let Apple know. Within two keystrokes Fiore overheard on the phone, his app hit the App Store. “It was pretty much an instantaneous thing,” he said.

The bad PR led to an update of Apple’s rules, which now allow for political content and lampooning public figures, but still reflect some subjective sensitivity concerning satire. Time reported in 2013 that Apple yanked the iOS game Sweatshop from the App Store. The developer describes as “lighthearted” but also “based upon very present realities that many workers around the world contend with each day.”

“It’s the idea that a game intended both as educational and intelligently satirical could wind up banned that’s dangerous,” Time’s Matt Peckham wrote. 

Apple isn’t the only Silicon Valley behemoth to embrace Charlie Hebdo in the abstract. Twitter’s French unit displayed a #JeSuisCharlie banner on its Twitter profile, while Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a tribute post that “different voices—even if they’re sometimes offensive—can make the world a better and more interesting place.” Both social networks, of course, have a documented history of censorship. It’s the price of building a business in countries where free speech is not a priority.

Google, too, is getting headlines for contributing $300,000 toward 1 million copies of Tuesday’s Charlie Hebdo edition. But that cash isn’t coming from the goodness of Google’s heart, or even its couch cushions. It’s part of a $70 million fund Google agreed to set up for French publishers two years ago as part of a settlement with the government over advertising loss. “It’s good that (Charlie Hebdo) got the money, but it’s good PR for Google, too,” Fiore says. 

As for Apple, Fiore says, “They show their support, ‘We’re all for free speech!’ But would you run these cartoons? Uh, no.” 

Apple did not return ReadWrite’s request for comment. 

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EFF To Apple: No iPhone App For You

On Friday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation released an Android app designed to alert users about new digital-rights campaigns, such as this one against NSA surveillance. iPhone users, however, are out of luck; the EFF refused to release an iOS version of the same app, explaining that it found Apple’s developer-agreement terms “outrageous.”

Among other things, the EFF objects to Apple’s complete control over the availability of apps; they can only be distributed through the company’s app store, and Apple can remotely disable apps on a whim should it choose to. The EFF is also not a fan of Apple’s attempts to prevent developer from talking about the agreement itself.

Corynne McSherry is the intellectual property director at EFF and has worked there since 2006. She specializes in issues dealing with copyright, trademark, and free speech issues, and penned the post by EFF explaining its problems with the Apple terms. While neither Apple’s developer agreement nor EFF’s problems with it are new, McSherry said the issue seemed newly relevant given the organization’s release of the Android app.

“We felt like we owed folks an explanation,” she said. According to McSherry, Apple hasn’t budged on the agreement.

“Suffice to say Apple is well-aware of our concerns,” she said. “Apple has made a choice that they don’t want to change that agreement. I think they’re going to change it if they hear from enough people, not just EFF but also developers.”

While the EFF feels the Google developer agreement for Android apps isn’t perfect, it doesn’t make the same “onerous” demands that Apple does. McSherry said that EFF understands many people and developers feel they need to agree to the terms for business reasons, and that the organization doesn’t mean to imply anything negative about anyone that does agree to them. Still, EFF felt it needed to “walk the walk” as far as its espoused beliefs.

“We were not going to put our imprimatur on that agreement,” she said. The EFF currently has a petition asking Apple to make changes.

Apple did not respond to request for comment.

Photo by TonyV3112 for Shutterstock

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UK Is Ready For Apple Pay, But Security Remains A Concern

Apple Pay is set to travel across the pond to the United Kingdom in the first half of 2015. However, the Telegraph reports that one of the UK’s biggest banks is concerned about “the amount of personal and financial information Apple wants to collect about its customers.”

The bank’s objection goes against Apple executive Eddy Cue’s insistence that “we are not in the business of collecting your data,” as he announced at the keynote in September. Cue explained that during and after an Apple Pay transaction, “Apple doesn’t know what you bought, where you bought it, or how much you paid for it.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time Apple has given reason for users to be concerned about security. In September, a major photo theft revealed vulnerabilities in Apple’s iCloud security.

See also: Apple To Increase iCloud Security Following Celebrity Photo Theft

The UK bank may be stalling, but the Telegraph reports that sources say “no major bank will want to miss out on Apple Pay,” given the amount of success it has had in the United States. Even if consumers still have cold feet, companies certainly do not. As of mid December, Apple Pay supported 90% of U.S. credit cards in terms of purchase volume.

Screenshot of Apple Pay via September Apple keynote

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Companies, If Not Consumers, Clamor For Apple Pay

Apple Pay now supports 90% of U.S. credit cards in terms of purchase volume, the technology company said Tuesday.

Banks like SunTrust, Barclaycard and USAA recently began working with Apple to support the service, and as of Tuesday 10 more banks—and the credit cards they offer—will join the roster of companies that support Apple Pay, the New York Times reported.

See also: Apple Pay: 1 Million Cards Down, 599 Million To Go

Combined with the retailers, banks, and start-ups that already support it, there are more opportunities than ever for consumers to make purchases with a wave of an iPhone. Staples, McDonald’s, Disney, Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb all support it. Whole Foods reported in October that it processed more than 150,000 Apple Pay transactions in the days after it came out.

Mobile payments have the potential to make retail lines move more quickly as payments get shorter and easier. While consumers have expressed concern about whether they would trust Apple with their credit cards, banks and retailers clearly don’t share these worries.

See also: Apple Pay: I’m Not Impressed

Now that 90% of US credit cards in terms of purchase volume support the technology, whether credit card users choose to adopt it will be Apple Pay’s true test.

Photo by Owen Thomas for ReadWrite

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Filthy Rich iOS Fanatics Can Pre-Order A $30,000 Apple Watch

If you thought $5,000 was too much for a luxury Apple Watch, then this show of excess really ought to smack your gob: Mervis Diamond Importers just opened pre-orders for its diamond-flanked Apple wrist gizmo for upwards of $30,000, CNET reports.

Mervis, which offered a $20,000 iPad in 2010, tricked out Apple’s wearable with 18-karat rose gold and eight rows of top-grade diamonds. The result looks something like several diamond tennis bracelets tied together to form a wristband, judging by the mock-up the business posted on its Facebook page last week

See also: The Apple Watch Will Cost How Much?!

Technologically, there’s no difference between the $349 base model Apple Watch and this opulent version. The value lies in the band’s hundreds of stones, which collectively total more than 15 carats and individually boast high grades of E/F in color and VS1/VS2 in clarity.

As for the metal, if rose-gold doesn’t match the other baubles on your bling-festooned self, take heart: Mervis can cast the watch in white gold or platinum as well. Hopefully it will do a better job crafting the product than it did with the mock-up above, which seems to smush the Apple Watch into a shorter casing.

Speaking of the setting, it’s not evident whether the device can pop out, so that an Apple Watch 2 can one day take its place. That seems rather important, considering the Mervis watch’s price tag exceeds mortgage down payments in many parts of the country.

But if you have the funds, then the only other thing you’ll need is patience: The Mervis custom luxury edition of the Apple Watch won’t ship until at least June 2015.

Photo courtesy of Mervis Diamond Importers

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Apple Embraces PayPal Once More, Kinda Sorta

In the cold war between Apple and PayPal, a possible thaw may have started on Friday. The iPhone company now permits PayPal as a payment option on its website for U.S. and U.K. shoppers, Recode reports.

That new level of cooperation is notable mostly because of the way Apple snubbed PayPal earlier this year when it failed to recommend its payment-processing services to developers working with Apple Pay. That’s the phone payment scheme Apple launched alongside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. 

See also: Apple Is Less Than Inviting To PayPal In Apple Pay

Neither company commented openly on that breach, although one popular theory had Apple casting PayPal out of its plans due to the latter’s payments partnership with Samsung and its Galaxy fingerprint reader.

Seemingly An Odd About-Face For Apple

On the surface, PayPal showing up on Apple.com looks like an about-face for the tech giant. Apple is known to hold grudges against partners who have disappointed it—sometimes excommunicating them or even launching holy wars against them. For its part, PayPal expressed its frustration publicly in a full-page newspaper ad and went on to another partner

PayPal ad in the New York Times

Now the two companies appear to have patched things up: The iPhone maker has not only granted PayPal access to its online store, it is also promoting PayPal’s credit payments, which lets shoppers pay for goods in installments with no interest. 

The Cold War May Still Be Pretty Chilly

It’s worth noting, however, that this isn’t PayPal’s first foray into Apple’s e-commerce business. PayPal has been a mainstay in Apple’s App Store and iTunes for years, and its arrival now on the company’s website is not the same as entering the Apple Pay system. 

Ultimately, the arrangement looks more like a marriage of convenience, designed to give shoppers a more consistent experience across Apple’s digital and physical retail offerings.

Even so, it’s still a win for PayPal. As Recode pointed out, Internet Retailer deemed Apple the second largest online retailer in the U.S., which should bring plenty of juice to PayPal. Ironically enough, that could wind up making it a partner someday that Apple Pay simply can no longer refuse. 

Lead image courtesy of PayPal

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Of Apple, SEO & Why Google Thinks NeXT Is Still Alive – Search Engine Land


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Of Apple, SEO & Why Google Thinks NeXT Is Still Alive
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You'd think being head of SEO at Apple would be the easiest job in the world. You have 1.4 Billion backlinks to work with. You have constantly refreshed content featuring the most desirable products in the world. Your every utterance about even the

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