Sunday, June 25, 2017
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So last week Apple announced the latest iteration of its hugely popular iPad. I own a fourth gen model, and as someone who likes to be on the cutting edge, I was all set to snap up the new device. Except, what I saw didn’t excite me or give me a killer reason to part with £400 +.

Tablet sales are slowing, and a large chunk of the reason for that can be laid squarely at Apple’s door. While the iPad Air 2 will appeal to first time buyers, businesses, or people looking to upgrade from inferior tablets, it just doesn’t offer enough to get existing iPad owners like me to upgrade. But it’s thinner! It’s lighter! So what? I’m not a frail old lady, or cursed with a muscle wasting disease. My iPad 4 is hardly a major weight, and to be honest, I like my devices to have a bit of heft to them anyway.

The new iPad comes with improved cameras! So what? I will never be the sort of person who takes meaningful photos with a tablet. If I’m somewhere amazingly picturesque, there’s a good chance I’ll have my Canon DSLR with me, and that takes far superior photos. And if I need to take a casual snap of something, my phone’s camera is all I need. People who take photos with an iPad are special. Let’s say no more.

It’s faster! Yes, this is the one selling point that means anything to me. I upgrade my PC on a regular basis in the vague hope that one day I’ll have a system that can keep up with me and do everything I want it to, so a speedier tablet is something that appeals. But the weird thing is, my iPad 4 never feels particularly slow. I’ve never cursed or shouted “come on!” at it. It does misbehave occasionally, forcing a reboot to teach it a lesson, but that’s about it. If I switched to an iPad Air 2 I would notice the difference I’m sure, but my iPad runs all the apps I throw at it without issue, and of course it runs the latest version of iOS, so I have nothing to lose by not upgrading.

All that glitters ain’t gold

It’s available in gold! I shove my iPad in a case, so it could be maroon and I wouldn’t know.

It’s got Touch ID! I like this feature on my iPhone, and I can appreciate it on the iPad, but am I prepared to spend £400+ to get it? Er… no.

So what was I hoping for? What would make me upgrade? Storage. The iPad Air 2 comes in three storage sizes – 16GB, which is essentially worthless (buy that and you’ll regret it in a week), 64GB, which is the minimum you’ll need, and 128GB, which is the one you really want. If Apple had offered the 128GB model for a lower price, and chucked in a tonne of iCloud storage, and just for once added the option to upgrade the internal storage in some way (a proprietary Apple expansion card of sorts would be fine), then I’d have sat up and listened. My iPad is always full, despite regularly copying photos off of it and deleting apps. Storage could have been the iPad Air 2’s killer feature. Not weight or thickness. Who the hell cares about weight or thickness?

A better screen would have been welcome. Sure, the new one is less reflective, but it offers the same 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution found on my iPad 4, the same 264ppi count, and the same Retina display. I can’t complain about my iPad screen, but a better one would be a reason to upgrade.

Any kind of innovation would have helped. Before the launch there was talk of Apple rolling out a giant iPad Air Pro capable of running iOS and OS X. That was never going to materialise, but if it had, at least we’d have something more interesting to talk about, and consider buying.

More is, well, more

Adding something different to the iPad Air 2 – some kind of built-in kickstand, a range of stunning accessories, anything – would all have given me a reason to upgrade, except we got a refreshed Air and little else.

Don’t get me wrong – if I was in the market for a new tablet, I would buy the iPad Air 2 in a heartbeat. I own a Nexus 7, and I’ve played around (briefly) with a Surface Pro 3, but neither device can compare with the iPad.

But the trouble is, I’m not in the market for a new tablet and so, like the vast majority of existing iPad owners, I won’t be upgrading to the iPad Air 2.

Maybe the iPad Air 3 will be the device I’ve been waiting for. I guess I’ll meet you back here next year to find out.

LONDON – The European Union is to accuse US tech giant Apple of taking illegal aid from the Irish state through sweetheart tax deals over two decades, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

A European Commission investigation into Apple’s tax affairs in Ireland, where it has enjoyed a rate of less than 2 percent, found that the company benefitted from illegal state aid, the newspaper reported citing sources close to the matter.

The report is expected to be published later on Monday, the result of a probe that began in June after press revelations made corporate tax reduction an increasingly hot political issue.

Ireland is favoured as a European base by several major companies including Amazon, Facebook, PayPal and Twitter.

Apple’s European headquarters is in the southwest Irish city of Cork, where it employs 4,000 people.

The country has a competitive corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent, which has been criticised by some other member states of the EU as unfair, but which Dublin has repeatedly defended.

But a 2013 investigation by the US Senate found that the maker of iPhones and iPads paid a lower rate by channelling overseas sales through subsidiaries in a deal negotiated with the Irish government.

Apple did not immediately respond to comment, but both Ireland and Apple have denied the company was given a special deal.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) this month began efforts to crack down on “aggressive” tax avoidance by multinational companies, such as the notorious mechanism known as the “Double Irish”.

Under such arrangements, a subsidiary based in a higher-tax country pays another subsidiary based in a tax haven, reducing the amount of tax the corporation pays on overall profits.

Ireland has indicated that such loopholes could be closed amid pressure from the OECD.

The group of 34 OECD nations has proposed new international measures aimed to force companies to report their profits and holdings country-by-country, increasing transparency and stopping common methods of shielding profits from tax.

iOS 8 emojis for iPhone and iPad as you type

Posted by pakin On September - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Since the update yesterday iPhone and iPad users will now be able to take advantage of iOS 8 emojis, thanks to the release of the Keymoji: Emoji Autocomplete Keyboard app. Before you get too carried away, we would just like to inform you that this app requires iOS 8 and above.

This iOS 8 emojis is exclusive for the iPhone and iPad and is said to be the quickest and easiest way to include emojis to any message you send. The app is very simple to set up and will show up in any app that requires the use of a keyboard.

Some iOS users will love the idea that while they type emoji auto-completion will come up with suggestions of its own in real-time, which saves a whole load of time hunting through the library of emojis.

The community-sharing feature is rather cool because the definitions come from each user who has submitted them. The more a definition is used the more popular it becomes, which gives users a chance to have some fun.

Some of the main features are leaderboard scoring, access to the keyboard tutorial reset and keyboard settings under the “Account” tab, and you will also be pleased to know that this app does not collect any of your personal information or conversations.

Remember, the emojis for iPhone and iPad app will not work with iOS 7, only iOS 8.

Apple Watch judged ‘too feminine’

Posted by pakin On September - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

BERLIN – Apple’s long-awaited smartwatch looks “too feminine” and its design will not stand the test of time, luxury giant LVMH’s watch guru has told German media.

Jean-Claude Biver, who heads the French group’s luxury-watch division, said the US tech titan had made “some fundamental mistakes” designing the Apple Watch.

“This watch has no sex appeal. It’s too feminine and looks too much like the smartwatches already on the market,” Biver said in an interview with daily Die Welt.

“To be totally honest, it looks like it was designed by a student in their first trimester,” added Biver, who heads up the brands Tag Heuer, Zenith and Hublot.

Biver predicted the much-anticipated device, with its square face and curved edges, would soon be outdated.

“Luxury always has something timeless, it’s rare and conveys prestige,” he was quoted as saying, adding that the same could not be said for Apple Watch, which is expected to be bought by millions of customers and will likely be beyond repair in a few years’ time.

Biver is not the first watch chief to be dismissive of Apple’s efforts. Swatch CEO Nick Hayek earlier told Swiss media that the world’s biggest watch group was “not nervous” about Apple’s foray into the market.

Apple Watch, which comes in several colours and links to the iPhone, will start at $349 (270 euros) when it is released early next year. The wrist device is the first new product category to be launched by Apple since the death of co-founder Steve Jobs in 2011.

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