Apple iOS 9.2 Beta Profile Open to Everyone

The iPad Air
The Public Beta of iOS 9.2 has been made available to everyone by Apple, or at least those who have a compatible iPhone that is. The days of betas being solely for developers has long gone, and if you so choose you can check out build 9.2 of Apple’s iOS platform, although it is worth remembering that this is not the finished and polished version that will be rolled out over the air in the coming weeks.

If you have the beta profile on your handset then you should be seeing a prompt to download the software right now. This bug fixing beta is mainly focused on improving the Safari View Controller, but we image some more features will be added between now and roll out of the finished software.

As for the stable release of iOS 9.2, Apple has not said when that will happen, but we are willing to stake that it will happen sometime during November.

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Apple Continues to Target Android

Apple diversity
Apple continues to sell huge amounts of iPhones, despite missing optimistic analyst prediction the company is thriving and making vastly more money than any other mobile brand. CEO Tim Cook was in good mood after Cupertino’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings call, saying the company is taking the fight to Android and starting to make serious headway in China.

Cook claimed that a massive 30% of all iPhone sales in the last quarter came from consumers who were switching to Apple’s iOS from Android. He also said that the iPhone will continue to grow in terms of sales, with two thirds of iPhone owners still owning a model that is two generations old, meaning consumers will be upgrading to the newer handsets soon.

Apple has made massive gains in China, where the company made its debut just two years ago. Cook said that sales in China have increased in the country by 99% in the last year, making Apple the second most successful manufacturer in China, beating even Samsung and taking out Xiaomi for one quarter at least.

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Apple Wows with iPhone During Third Quarter, iPad Slumps Further


It seems as though Apple is having a typical “s” year. When the company launches an iPhone with an s at the end of the title there is usually a levelling out of sales, which in turn usually leads to plenty of doom mongering that Apple has topped out. It is happening again as Apple released its third quarter financials that showed that iPhone sales fell below analyst expectations.

There are a few things to consider. Firstly, analysts have been going bold with iPhone predictions since Apple toppled all records just under a year ago, and while sales this three month period did miss expectations, sales are still up on last year. So, has Apple finally hit the ceiling, have iPhone sales topped out?

Of course that is a possibility, but we have been saying for some time that after that record busting fourth quarter last year that the only way was down. We will see how well Apple performs over the Holiday Season this year and indeed how the company performs when the iPhone 7 is released next fall. All we know is, those predicting this is the first step in Cupertino’s ultimate demise will be left wanting… it isn’t happening.

On the numbers, Apple shifted 48.04 million iPhones through the period ending September 30, which is vastly higher than the 39.27 million iPhones sold through Q3 of 2014. It is worth noting that this is Apple’s quietest period traditionally as consumers await the launch of a new iPhone. That the company can shift tens of millions of units that are coming to the end of their cycle as a flagship is impressive and something no other company can do. That does not please analysts, and probably not investors in the short term, as Wall Street predicted sales of 48.72 million units to be sold.

While the iPhone will continue to defy analysts in the future, the iPad is apparently on a downward spiral that seems irreversible, unless the iPad Pro and Apple’s deal with IBM perform miracles… unlikely. The slate is still the best selling on the market, but like the wider tablet sector it is on the decline as consumers simply do not upgrade these products in the way they do smartphones.

That very problems was something the PC had to contend with and why the computing market is a mere shell of what it used to be. The iPad dropped another 20% in sales, but that bad news hardly stopped Apple from raking in cash, the beauty of high margins.

The company continues to make profit like no other mobile brand, posting income of $11.12 billion over the third quarter (which, incidentally, was Apple’s fiscal Q4), up from $8.47 billion last year. Overall revenue sat at $51.50 billion, a 22% increase.

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Verizon Debuts iPhone Upgrade Plans

plus-header-TNWe are not exactly surprised to see that Verizon has created a program for upgrading the iPhone year after year. The company followed T-Mobile’s path by doing away with subsidized contracts, which prompted Apple to create its iPhone Upgrade Program and for T-Mobile to follow suit. Verizon is now joining the party with its Device Payment option.

Just like Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, Big Red’s model lets you trade in yearly for the latest iPhone on the market. That means you could buy the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus this year and automatically be eligible for an upgrade to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in a year’s time. Magic.

However, every time you upgrade you will have to start your 24 month payment installments again, effectively like starting a new contract. Of course, you could just opt to hold onto your iPhone for two years and upgrade it again for another 24 month deal, but you may as well just pick up the yearly new handset instead.

Verizon’s pricing plan offers a myriad of options, including the base model 16GB Apple iPhone 6s for $0 down (qualified subscribers only) and $27.08 a month. The 16GB Apple iPhone 6s Plus is also $0 down, and $31.24 a month. The 16GB iPhone 6 is $0 down and $22.91 a month, while the 16GB iPhone 6 Plus is $0 down and $27.08 a month. Finally, the Apple iPhone 5s is $0 down and $18.74 a month. All those deal are over the aforementioned 24 months.

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Samsung Working on Apple Style Upgrade Lease System

TECH-SUPPLIES/SAMSUNG-APPLEVerizon and T-Mobile have already done away with contracted smartphone subsidizes and many other carriers are expected to follow suit eventually. That’s not necessarily good news for flagship manufacturers as consumers may find them harder to purchase. Samsung is now apparently working on an upgrade lease system, just like Apple’s recent model.

Yes, Apple already went there with its iPhone Upgrade Plan that was unveiled at the iPhones 6s launch event two weeks ago. The model lets consumers pay $32 per month to lease an iPhone and then upgrade it after one year for a new model. Wall Street analysts have praised this model as it gives Apple a new revenue stream, because the company can refurbish iPhones that are traded in and sell them on.

Samsung is now apparently now waiting to launch its own similar service, although it may not be launched until the Galaxy S7 arrives next year.

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Samsung Infringed Apple Software Patent

Apple and Samsung agree settlementApple’s courtroom battle with Samsung in the United States has been waged for years, but it is a battle Cupertino has largely won, although not necessarily in the ideal way. The latest victory for the company reveals that Samsung has been found guilty of infringing an Apple patent once again, this time for software stolen from the iPhone to be used in its Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

The result is those (admittedly older) products could be banned from sale unless Samsung removes the software in question. This comes as the latest in a string of victories that show in no uncertain terms that Samsung severely infringed on a myriad of patents Apple created for its own mobile technology. That has hardly ever been in question, the only real problem for Apple is that the company does not feel Samsung has been punished enough for this, with the Korean company receiving token fines.

Apple believes the rival should be fined for higher amounts and that sales bans should have been implemented.
However, even a sales ban would not help Apple now as the device Samsung would have to stop selling are not even on the market anymore. This case stems back so many years that the devices that infringed the patents are old and for the most part out of production. That means Apple will have to pursue a monetary punishment for Samsung again, although it is unlikely to impact the Korean company too greatly.

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Watch Apple’s Huge Launch Event Again

plus-header-TNDid you miss Apple’s massive launch event yesterday, or perhaps you are a fan of the company and want to relive the show all over again? Either way, you can still see the big press event that saw a myriad new products launch in Cupertino as Apple once again reasserted it dominance over the smartphone and tablet markets.

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus were revealed by the company, bringing with them vastly improved performance and 3D Touch screen technology. Also on the agenda was the new iPad Pro, a statement making product if ever we have seen one, and yeah even a new iPad Mini 4 sneaked in for a brief minute.

Lastly, Apple tried to delve deeper into TV, which the company still calls a hobby. The new Apple TV is expensive at $149, but is an improved experience over the last model, or at least that’s what we gather so far.

So a lot to get through then, and Tim Cook and friends sure took their merry time as the show stretched for a massive 2 hours and 20 minutes. However, there is no doubting that Apple knows how to hold the attention of the viewer and a slew of products certainly did that as the show zipped by really. Either way, bored rigid and watching out of curiosity or excited fanboy, you can now relive the event by heading HERE.

Streaming video requires Safari 4 or later on OS X v10.6 or later; Safari on iOS 4.2 or later; or QuickTime 7 on Windows. Streaming via Apple TV requires second- or third-generation Apple TV with software 5.0.2 or later.

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iPhone 6s: the Legacy is Fine

Every year Apple managed to pull off what every other smartphone company can never do, makes its devices equally popular despite incremental updates.

The new iPhone 6s is not a radical departure from the iPhone 6 last year, in fact it looks identical, but will still sell in tens of millions over the coming months. Apple is the king at this kind of marketing, but beneath it all is the iPhone 6s, which is just a very good products.

Sure, nothing has changed aesthetically but it is hard to deny that the iPhone 6s is one of the best looking smartphones available. The device is a little heavier because it now has a stronger aluminum to avoid a repeat of 2014’s Bendgate, but aside from that there are no changes. The new iPhone devices get a rose gold colorway which is more like a kind of pink, and while that seems hideous it is actually stunning in person.

It reminds us of when Apple introduced the gold color and we thought it would suck, but it was actually classy and premium looking. The rose gold variant is the same.

We know that some people think it is a mystery that Apple has now upgraded to 1080p Full HD for its core flagship. Yes, the iPhone 6s Plus gets 1080p, but the iPhone 6s does not and on the surface that is indeed a mystery, especially considering Apple’s main Android rivals are already deep into the Quad HD cycle.

The iPhone 6s comes with a screen that on paper at least is two generations worse than other main flagships. However, the 4.7-inch IPS display on the iPhone 6s may only have 750 x 1334 resolution and a pixel density of 326ppi, but you know what it will be? It will be one of the best screens on the market, just like other iPhones have shown… we don’t know how Apple does it with limited specs but it does, don’t make the error of thinking this a subpar display, it simply is not.

Indeed, this screen actually comes with something new and unique. 3D Touch is the update of Force Touch that debuted alongside the Apple Watch. We will be making a full dedicated post on 3D Touch before the weekend, but essentially this display reads the pressure you place upon it and acts accordingly. This can be applied to myriad features and tools.

Ok, we know the Apple A9X is built by Samsung, and ha-ha we get the joke. However, once again Apple confounds the smartphone market by not discussing specs and actually using small amounts of RAM relative to other flagships. But yet the iPhone year on year is among the best smartphones in terms of performance, a testament to the smooth and quick iOS platform. Here the A9 is 80% faster than last year’s A8 in CPU tasks and a massive 90% faster in GPU tasks. That’s a bold claim, but if true it is spectacular on Apple’s part to have gotten such a performance hike in the space of one year. The silicon is also more power efficient, which means battery life is smoother and performance enhanced, which in turn allows Siri to always be on in standby mode.

Battery life will look something like this:

Talk time: Up to 14 hours on 3G
Internet use: Up to 10 hours on 3G, up to 10 hours on LTE, up to 11 hours on Wi‑Fi
HD video playback: Up to 11 hours
Audio playback: Up to 50 hours
Standby time: Up to 10 days

Those looking for a storage breakthrough at Cupertino will be disappointed, the iPhone 6s will come with a 16GB base model, 64GB model, and a 128GB model. Of course a micro SD card slot is out of the question, which only makes us wish even more that Apple would make the base storage variant 32GB.

Apple is a leading example at showing that megapixels are not the be all and end all of camera technology. Recent iPhones have come with an 8 megapixel lens in recent years while Android rivals went bigger and bigger, but yet the iPhone has consistently been one of the best “camera phones” on the market.

The 12 megapixel lens on the iPhone 6s should be really good then, and Apple is certainly suggesting that it indeed is. We will be posting a dedicated iPhone 6s camera post in the coming days.

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Apple iPhone 6s Plus: The Same but Better

Last year Apple split its iPhone range to have two flagship models, with the iPhone 6 acting as the main sales driver while the iPhone 6 Plus served as the spec king and of course came with a larger screen. A year later and Apple just unveiled the iPhone 6s Plus and the device is pretty much what we expect; an incremental update over last year’s model.

That means the iPhone 6s Plus looks the same as the 6 Plus, which is not bad thing as it remains a stellar looking smartphone and considering Apple ushered in a bold new design last year, it still feels fresh. New innards do ensure that the iPhone 6s Plus is a little fatter than its predecessor though, 192g over 172g. You can grab the device in silver, grey, and gold, while rose gold is a pink like color making its debut this year and actually looks fabulous.

iOS 9 lands on this device and the iPhone 6s, and while it too looks virtually the same as iOS 8, there are plenty of new features to sink your teeth into. Rounding out the design is the now familiar Touch ID fingerprint sensor which takes its form as the Home button.

The iPhone 6s Plus retains the Full HD 1080p Retina IPS Display from last year and it still stretches 5.5-inches across the device for a pixel density of 401ppi. That is still below the curve in comparison to Android devices, but the iPhone has always managed to have a stellar screen despite its apparent hardware limitations.

The big news with the screen is the inclusion of the new 3D Touch technology that follows from the Force Touch screen the company introduced on the Apple Watch. Essentially this means the screen can sense pressure and offer an array of new features, something we will be elaborating on in a dedicated 3D Touch report coming tomorrow.

Apple rarely talks about specs outright, and the iPhone on paper always looks positively mid-range next to Android flagships, but yet the device always bests those rivals in terms of butter smooth performance. The A9X processor here is new and with iOS 9 is going to make the iPhone 6s Plus one of the best performing smartphones on the market.

Apple says the A9 is 70% faster at CPU tasks and 90% faster at GPU tasks compared to the A8 last here, a frankly staggering leap in performance over twelve months. That means battery life and efficiency is improved, allowing Siri to always be on in standby mode, although the battery life remains at Apple’s standard.

For some reason Cupertino is sticking blindly to 16GB as the base storage amount, when these days it really should be 32GB. Nevertheless there will also be a 64GB model and a 128GB model, while of course none of them feature storage expansion.

iPhone cameras have always flipped the bird at Android flagships and shown that megapixels mean little. While Android manufacturers back high MP resolutions Apple has been using a humble 8MP lens in recent years but has still managed to deliver on of the best smartphone camera experiences on the market. The bump to 12 megapixels on the iPhone 6s Plus promises to be even better and comes with some new goodies, such as 4K video recording. We will be delving into the camera in-depth in a future dedicated report.

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Apple iPad Pro: Stunning, Feature Packed, and Hugely Expensive

Apple revealed the iPad Pro at a huge all-encompassing launch event, finally bringing the large screen tablet that has been rumored for years. While Apple says this is a game changer, it is actually just a competitor to the Microsoft Surface Pro, but that does not mean the Pro is not fantastic. It is, with plenty of unique tech and features and in some ways Apple may have redefined casual portable computing with this feature rich device.

The iPad Pro may spell trouble for the humble old small laptop, including Apple’s own MacBook Air, especially for those who only do minimal casual computing. It will also help Apple’s aspirations in enterprise and with the deal with IBM in place expect Cupertino to really drive this product to companies around the world.

This is probably the most decked out product Apple has ever made, at least in the mobile space. The Pro comes with a massive (it really looks huge) 12.9-inch Retina Display packing screen that sports a higher resolution than the MacBook Air Retina. Under the hood there is an A9X processor that is 1.8 times faster than the A8 found in the iPad Air 2. Apple says the result is the iPad Pro being faster than 80% of the portable laptops on the market and graphically better than 90%.

You may remember back in the day that Steve Jobs was pretty adamant that Apple wouldn’t ever make a stylus, so what do we make of the Apple Pencil? Well, firstly it is not a stylus says Apple, much the same way as Samsung’s S Pen is not a stylus. Ok, we get it, the Apple Pencil is much more functional and in the coming days we will be doing an extensive post on the Pencil, which brings a host of functionality to the Pro that pushes it past any other tablet on the market.

The peripherals do not end with the Apple Pencil as the company also launched a SmartCover Keyboard that connects to the device via three magnetic dots. This further adds to the enterprise leanings of the iPad Pro for those who want to type physically.

As you can probably guess, the iPad Pro is very expensive, insanely so probably. The standard entry level Wi-Fi model with 32GB of storage will cost a huge $799, while a 128GB storage comes in at $949, and the flagship 128GB LTE version is a dizzying $1079. Factor in the $99 price of the Apple Pencil, and frankly crazy $169 you need to pay for the keyboard then you have a very expensive product indeed. Of course, Apple can get away with these kinds of margins, but this is certainly not a casual purchase.

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