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Apple releases iOS 8, Yosemite Beta 3

Posted by pakin On July - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Third release of preview versions of iOS 8 and Yosemite are now available for download.

Apple has released iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Beta 3 to developers, the third round of its testing cycle for the new software.

Along with general bug fixes, there are several new features in iOS 8 Beta 3, such as a prompt to upgrade from iCloud Documents and Data to iCloud Drive at start up.

Should you choose not to upgrade, you can do so later in the iCloud Drive settings menu, where you can also determine which apps can save data there.

Also new is the option to send app analytics data to developers to help them make improvements. This includes crash data, as well as information on how you use an app.

Another new setting in iOS 8 Beta 3 is the ability to turn QuickType, Apple’s answer to SwiftKey, on and off in the keyboard menu.

The new release also a couple of updates to notification settings. First, there is a new “clear” button in the notification centre and a way to dismiss notifications from the lock screen.

It features new beta versions of the Find My Friends app, allowing users to move their friends list to iCloud, as well as an update to the Find My iPhone app.

iOS 8 Beta 3 also tweaks Messages, including the option to save audio and video messages automatically.

A toggle to enable and disable Handoff, which lets users start a task on one Apple device and continue it on another, has also finally appeared.

Two additional minor changes include an updated weather app with a slightly different UI, after Apple switched from using information from Yahoo weather to The Weather Channel, and a name change for Shared Photo Streams, which has become Shared Albums.

The changes made in OS X 10.10 Yosemite Beta 3 are less significant, mainly relating to bug fixes.

However, Dark Mode, which lets users flip some elements of the interface to black with white writing, has finally appeared in settings. It was previously only available – and only partially working – in the terminal before.

There is also the ability to see bookmark folders in the updated Safari address bar, and a handful of aesthetic changes, including new icons for QuickTime and FontBook, and more distinct app notification badges.

Developers can download the new beta OSes immediately, while the rest of us will have to wait until autumn for the general release.

Airport Link Bangkok

Posted by pakin On July - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Available on the App Store

If you ever need to use the Airport Rail Link, this app is something you may want on your Apple device.

Fit for travellers and anyone commuting via the Airport Rail Link, this app will tell you all you need to know to get the train on time, as well as how much money you need to buy a ticket. It is quite simple and straightforward — once you choose the station from which you wish to leave, the app brings you to a timetable of both the Express and City lines. This works in both directions, from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Phaya Thai and vice versa. It also shows you the amount you’ll have to pay from your current station to get to each destination.

It should be noted, however, that this app is not managed by the Airport Rail Link itself. The app was created by SyncoApp, and takes information and train schedules from the rail’s official website. It has no control over the accuracy of departure and arrival times. It should, though, be able to give you a general time frame and cost of your trip.

Still haven’t snapped up Apple’s dedicated music player? Perhaps this will change your mind.

Apple has quietly announced an update to its iPod Touch range – a 16GB model which is now available in four new colours, along with a camera for photography shenanigans.

Until now, the 16GB iPod Touch was only available in grey. Although a sensible choice, it hardly got the hearts of design fans fluttering, so Apple is hoping that the new pink, yellow, green and blue colours are enough to sway a few more music fans its way.

The new 5MP iSight camera also comes with an LED flash and on-screen filters to jazz shots up a bit.

There’s also a front-facing FaceTime HD camera for video calls and, if you must, selfies.

The price of the new iPod is $249, though in the Australian Apple Store it’s currently listed as unavailable. The 32GB and 64GB models are now $299 and $349 respectively.

Apple’s New MacBook Air Could Be a Winner

Posted by pakin On June - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Digitimes recently reported that a 12-inch, potentially Retina, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) MacBook Air is set to go into high-volume production during the third quarter of this year. This suggests that Apple may launch these new machines early in the fourth quarter in an attempt to capitalize on the Christmas shopping season. Will this new MacBook Air be a game-changer?

Don’t forget that the Mac is strategic
if you look at Apple’s MacBook sales, they’re not exactly big top- or bottom-line movers. Apple’s crown jewel is the iPhone, with the iPad in distant second. To illustrate this point, in the most recent quarter, Apple sold 4.14 million Macs, which generated revenues of about $5.5 billion. At the same time, Apple sold 43.72 million iPhones and took in a whopping $26.06 billion in sales from that. The iPad wasn’t too shabby either, selling 16.35 million units and netting $7.61 billion in revenue.

The Mac isn’t a huge part of Apple’s top line, and it’s likely that the gross margin profile of the Mac versus, say, an iPad or an iPhone is much lower given how commoditized the PC business is.

But even though Mac isn’t directly the biggest contributor to Apple’s top and bottom lines, it is strategic. The more Apple can get people into its software ecosystem, and the better that all of Apple’s devices work together, the less likely that a current Apple customer will defect to alternative platforms. Apple already brought out a lower-cost iMac and reduced the price of the entry-level MacBook Air by $100 to $899 to that end.

The new MacBook Air could drive further share gains
A new 12-inch MacBook Air (particularly with a Retina display) could further win share against Windows-powered notebooks and convertibles, as customers looking for a notebook with a “PC first” focus have nowhere else to go thanks to Microsoft’s Windows 8 strategy. With an updated physical design (perhaps even a fanless one), the Mac OS X Yosemite operating system, and a launch roughly coincident with the next-generation iPhone and iPad, such a device could be even more successful than the prior iterations of the MacBook Air were.

Foolish bottom line
With production beginning in Q3 per Digitimes, it won’t be too long before we see what Apple has up its sleeve with the next-generation MacBook Air. With all of the improvements and ecosystem features that Apple is bringing to Mac OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, it’s hard not to be excited about the products launching this fall. The new MacBook Air may not be the flashiest of Apple’s new products, and it may not be a game changer, but it’s an integral part of the Apple product family and ecosystem.

Leaked: Apple’s next smart device (warning — it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development “dream team” to guarantee that its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are even claiming that its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts that 485 million of these devices will be sold per year. But one small company makes this gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and to see Apple’s newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Ashraf Eassa has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don’t all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.