Apple adds real-time collaboration to iWork, taking a stab at Microsoft and Google

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Apple wants to help you work with others.  The iPhone maker has added real-time collaboration to iWork, its suite of productivity apps, the company announced at its event on Wednesday in San Francisco. First released in 2005, Apple's iWork includes the presentation program Keynote, word processing app Pages and spreadsheet app Numbers. Think Microsoft PowerPoint, Word and Excel. "iWork is all about making beautiful and engaging documents," said Susan Prescott, Apple's vice president of product management and marketing. "For people who want the power of iWork, there is just not a great way to work with colleagues or classmates to work together." Read more... More about Business, Apps And Software, Iphone 7, Apple Ipad, and Apple Iwork

Apple’s iPad Pro is its biggest iPad yet

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Say hello to a new frontier for the iPad. As predicted by reports, Apple unveiled the iPad Pro at its Sept. 9 event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. It's designed to be used in business environments. With its enlarged screen, the iPad Pro is the largest iPad Apple has ever made. It will be an integral part of the company’s push further into the enterprise market, a market where Apple hasn’t had large success. iPad sales have been tapering off over the last few years, so this newer version looks to reverse that trend. Read more... More about Apple, Tech, Tablets, Apple Ipad, and Gadgets

Bloomberg claims a 12.9-inch iPad is coming next year

The rumor mill surrounding Apple is at full force right now. But while people are still waiting for the supposed bigger-screen iPhone (or iPhones) and a smartwatch to show up, we can now add one more device to the list. According to Bloomberg, Apple's set to introduce a 12.9-inch iPad in 2015. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the report claims that production on said iPad, which would be Apple's biggest yet, is scheduled to begin as early as Q1 of next year, noting that it's all part of Tim Cook's plan to "shake up the iPad line." Of course, this isn't the first time we've heard whispers on a 12.9-inch tablet from the iPhone maker, as some outlets have previously reported on leaked parts from a device being known as "iPad Pro." Now whether or not Apple is actually working on one, that's yet to be determined -- but even if it was, let's not forget that companies tend to have a change of heart from time to time. Filed under: , Comments Source: Bloomberg

Code in iOS 8 Beta Enables Split-Screen Capabilities

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Developer Steven Troughton-Smith has found code inside the first beta version of iOS 8 that allows users to run two apps side-by-side on the same screen. AppleInsider first reported on the information. Troughton-Smith detailed some of his findings on Twitter. In the iOS 8 SpringBoard, there is code to run two apps side-by-side:
So… just in case there was any doubt left… iOS 8’s SpringBoard has code to run two apps side-by-side. 1/4 size, 1/2 size, or 3/4 size — Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) June 9, 2014
Also, he said that side-by-side apps appear as a single screen in the App Switcher. Rumors of the split-screen multitasking capability first popped up in early MayBut a few days before WWDC, news broke that the feature wasnt ready for prime time and is still a work in progress. Read more... More about Multitasking, Apple Ipad, Tech, Dev Design, and Mobile

5 Virtual Assistants That Are More Productive Than Siri

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Siri, Apple's sometimes snarky virtual assistant, is supposed to be able to help you streamline appointments by knowing where you are supposed to be and when. While I've found Siri can be useful for this, I've discovered several alternatives that have their own advantages.

There are several third-party apps that are stronger for personal productivity and organization, especially given that much of what Siri performs is pretty consumer-focused. Here are some choices that will prove to be a good virtual assistant for the day-to-day business user.

Speaktoit Assistant

This app offers much that you would find in a service like Siri - talk to it and it will perform actions. You can dictate an iMessage, open web site, create calendar entries, and a myriad of other tasks. Read more...

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How Microsoft Started Over and Built Office for iPad

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Han-Yi Shaw didn’t like what he saw, and he told Microsoft so. The software giant, by Shaw’s reckoning, didn’t really understand Apple’s platform or how to develop Office for it. Shaw told Microsoft exactly what he thought — and the company responded by agreeing to all of his changes, then hiring him.

That was more than a decade ago. Today, Shaw heads up Microsoft’s Office Design Studio and is the architect of one of the tech giant’s most important innovations in years: Office for iPad.

The product is available now in the App Store as three distinct apps: Word for iPad, Excel for iPad and PowerPoint for iPad. They are free to download, but you won’t get full functionality — such as being able to edit or create new documents — without an Office 365 subscription (which is $99 a year for five installs on mobile devices, plus another five installs on desktops and laptops). Read more...

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Fisher-Price’s Apptivity Seat Is Bad for Babies

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As a technology reporter and mommy blogger, you’d think the Fisher-Price Apptivity Seat for newborns — an infant seat with a holder for an iPad — would be something I appreciate. But I do not. Nor, it seems, do a number of advocacy groups that want it pulled off the market because they think iPads and babies are a dangerous combination

Fisher-Price insists its seat is a sign of the times and age appropriate. I have done enough homework on early childhood development to tell you that not only is this seat a symptom of lazy parenting, it is guaranteed to make your baby more stupid.
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How to Find the Comet of the Century Using Your iPad

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If you can tear yourself away from the golden brown turkey on your Thanksgiving table and gaze skyward, you may just see a once-in-a generation sight: a comet, or what’s left of it, streaking brightly across the sky. ISON, the so-called comet of the century, has been the center of much fascination for space aficionados and those who get paid to pay attention: NASA.

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Seeing a comet is cool on its own. Witnessing one that may immolate or disintegrate as it blazes by the sun within 730,000 miles is a bonus that turned ISON into something special. So special, in fact, that NASA tried to launch a giant balloon, BRRISON, to monitor the possibly doomed comet. Sadly, the payload suffered a glitch shortly after launch and has been unable to collect data since September. Read more...

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The 13-Inch iPad Rumor Makes Absolutely No Sense

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The Apple rumor-mill went into overdrive this week, with renewed reports that the company has started production of a 12.9-inch iPad, the so-called iPad Pro

We've been hearing reports of a larger iPad almost as long as we've heard rumors of a larger iPhone, which is to say, years

The latest rumor comes from The Korea Times, citing a so-called "official at a local Apple supplier in Korea," the paper says Apple is going to reveal a 12.9-inch iPad in early 2014. The rationale for the bigger tablet? Apparently Apple is going to have to play catch-up with LG and Samsung, who are selling larger tablets. Read more...

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The 13-Inch iPad Rumor Makes Absolutely No Sense

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The Apple rumor-mill went into overdrive this week, with renewed reports that the company has started production of a 12.9-inch iPad, the so-called iPad Pro

We've been hearing reports of a larger iPad almost as long as we've heard rumors of a larger iPhone, which is to say, years

The latest rumor comes from The Korea Times, citing a so-called "official at a local Apple supplier in Korea," the paper says Apple is going to reveal a 12.9-inch iPad in early 2014. The rationale for the bigger tablet? Apparently Apple is going to have to play catch-up with LG and Samsung, who are selling larger tablets. Read more...

More about Apple, Ipad, Apple Ipad, Tech, and Gadgets

iPad Air Explodes in an Australian Phone Store

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An iPad Air has exploded at one Australian phone store. As a result, the local fire department was called and the scene had to be evacuated, according to Mail Online.

The incident occurred in an Vodafone store in Canberra. A Vodafone spokesperson said a “burst of flames” appeared near the charging port of the device. This suggests the tablet “suffered from extreme heat.”

No one was injured.

An Apple representative is said to have visited the store to collect the iPad Air for testing. Officially, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company provided no comment on the incident.

This isn’t the first time an iOS device exploded. In previous instances, however, it was an iPhone that caught fire. Incidentally, one of those cases had to do with an iPhone 4 exploding on a Australian flight. Read more...

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How Does iPad Air Hold Up Against 5-Foot Drop? Not Well

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"Takes a licking and keeps on ticking" does not seem to be a slogan suited to Apple's new iPad Air — at least based on some recent tests performed on the new lightweight tablet.

A video shows the iPad Air dropped from about 5 feet, face down into a mound of dirt that, admittedly, seems to have some little rocks in it. The results, though, are disastrous, with the iPad Air's screen coming out completely destroyed.

The iPad Air is also dropped onto concrete, immersed in water and, in a danger few are likely to face, blown apart by an AirSoft M7 air gun. If you bought an iPad Air without insurance or Apple's AppleCare+, you may now want to reconsider Read more...

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iPad Air vs. Every Other iPad Ever Made

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In the battle for speediest tablet, there can be only one victor. In our side-by-side tests of every single full-sized iPad generation ever made, not surprisingly, the Apple iPad Air makes a strong case for supremacy.

Since Apple introduced the iPad in 2010, it's been continually upping the ante on its processor. The very first iPad featured a custom-built A4 mobile CPU, which ran at 1 GHz. The iPad 2 got an upgrade to the more powerful A5 chip. It, too, was clocked at 1 GHz

But, as with all Apple's ARM-based chips, the performance was more than the sum of its Hertz.

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iPads Hold a Staggering 94% of the Education Market for Tablets

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Apple says it had its best quarter ever in education sales, selling more than $1 billion worth of products.

A huge chunk of that revenue can be credited to iPads. Apple said iPads accounted for 90% of tablet activations last quarter, with the iPad overall holding a 94% share of the education market for tablets

"We see Chromebooks in some places," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "But the vast majority of people are buying PC/Mac or an iPad. "It's sort of unheard of," Cook added. "I've never seen a market share that high before. So we feel like we're doing really well here, and feel great to be making a contribution to education." Read more...

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Ask a Dev: What’s the Big Deal with the New iPads?

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Tuesday's Apple event welcomed several new gadgets to the iPad family, including a new iPad Air and an updated iPad Mini with Retina display.

In our latest Ask A Dev video, iOS Architect Rene Cacheaux explains what the new iPads mean for users and for the company's future

Apple's event revealed a smoother transition between users' mobile devices and their desktops, Cacheaux said. For example, in the new iWork, anything created on a desktop displays identically on an iPad.

"We're starting to see Apple converge mobile and desktop, allowing users to do more with their devices," he said. Read more...

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Stop Whining About What Apple Didn’t Deliver

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Here’s what we learned today at Apple’s iPad Air and iPad Mini Retina introduction: Apple doesn’t care about your expectations, your demand for something new. It’s still in the business of satisfying users who love their elegant designs and that certain extra-special Apple something.

We also learned that Apple is still a software company –- a software company that does not have to make money selling software. They’ll make their money on hardware like the iPad, iPad Mini, a variety of MacBooks and the new Mac Pro, thank you very much

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Report: iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 Will Have Improved Cameras

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The iPad 5 and second-generation iPad mini, which could both be unveiled as early as this month, may have significantly better cameras. That’s according to sometimes-accurate KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo states that both tablets will launch in the fourth quarter of this year and that Apple will upgrade the cameras as a selling point. The analyst expects the rear cameras to sport an eight megapixel sensor, up from the five-megapixel version on the current models.

Much like the iPhone 5s, the aperture will also be increased to allow for better pictures.

Apple may choose to also add some of the new software-based camera features introduced with the iPhone 5s, like the slow-motion shooting capability that captures high-definition video at 120 frames per second. Read more...

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A Private Message to Apple CEO Tim Cook

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Hi Tim,

I know you’re up to your neck in preparations for what you promised will be a busy fall product season. That’s good. I wanted, however, to speak privately with you about Apple and the somewhat lackluster pace of innovation over the last 22 months.

I remember when you took over for Steve Jobs two years ago and what you said seven months after his deathYou promised some change, but with a continuing commitment to excellence. Personally, I think you’ve kept that promise. The iPhone 5 and iPad Mini, both released during your tenure, are easily among the best products in their class

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