Posts in news

Apple Q2 2014 Results: $45.6 Billion Revenue, 43.7 Million iPhones, 16.4 Million iPads Sold

Apple has published their Q2 2014 financial results for the quarter that ended on March 29, 2014. The company posted revenue of $45.6 billion. The company sold 16.4 million iPads, 43.7 million iPhones, and 4.1 million Macs, earning a quarterly net profit of $10.2 billion.

“We’re very proud of our quarterly results, especially our strong iPhone sales and record revenue from services,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products and services that only Apple could bring to market.”

We’ve been a bit busy today with the launch of MacStories 4.0 so we weren’t able to do our usual ‘notes from the call’. But we do have our usual graphs below, so that you can quickly digest this quarter’s earnings results.

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Apple Debuts New ‘Powerful’ iPhone 5s Advert

Apple last night debuted a new advert for the iPhone 5s on US television networks and YouTube. Dubbed ‘Powerful’, the advert features the song Gigantic by the Pixies amongst a montage of scenes that shows the iPhone 5s accomplishing a myriad of tasks. There is no narration in this advert, but it does end with the slogan “You’re more powerful than you think”, which aptly sums up many of the more unique uses of the iPhone 5s that are shown. For example, the iPhone is used as a heart rate monitor, a remote to launch miniature rockets, as well as both an instrument and aid to an instrument, amongst other uses in the 90 second advert.

Update: As discovered by MacRumors, Apple has today launched a new section on their website that is dedicated to this advert and it highlights the apps that are featured in the spot.

You can watch the full advert below, or on Apple’s YouTube channel.

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1Password 4.5 Brings iOS 7 Redesign, Better 1Browser, Support For Multiple Vaults

1Password 4 for iOS, first released in December 2012, was a major update to AgileBits' popular password manager that introduced a new design, a powerful built-in browser to manage logins inside the app, and a variety of other features that were later ported to and expanded on OS X with 1Password 4 for Mac. 1Password 4.5, available today on the App Store, brings a complete redesign for iOS 7 and several other changes and feature additions that make 1Password officially optimized for the modern OS, further narrowing the gap between the mobile and desktop versions.

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Unread 1.2 Adds Image Viewer, New Gestures, And More

Originally released in February, Jared Sinclair's Unread is an elegant and polished RSS reader for iPhone that made me switch from Reeder. As I concluded in my review:

For me, Unread provides a better reading, syncing, and sharing experience than Reeder. While it lacks some of the features that Reeder gained over the years, Unread’s debut shows an app with focus, flexibility, attention to iOS 7, and the capability of scaling from dozens of unread items to several hundreds articles. Some people will complain about the lack of a compact mode to disable article previews in the main list; combined with thumbnails, I realized that this feature helps me pay more attention to articles in my RSS feeds.

Available today on the App Store, Unread 1.2 adds a variety of fixes, design tweaks, and new features that make the app more powerful and faster to navigate without compromising its vision and the choices Sinclair made for version 1.0.

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Dropbox Acquires Loom

With a notice posted on their website today, Loom, a photo storage and management service originally launched in July 2013, announced that they’ve been acquired by Dropbox and will be joining the company.

Often regarded as “what Apple’s Photo Stream” should have been, Loom was designed to keep one library of photos in sync across devices, with support for albums, full-res versions of the original files, and more. Built to let users delete media from their local devices, Loom featured support for both photos and videos, with automatic upload functionalities in a native iOS app and a desktop uploader for OS X.

From Loom’s original description:

We needed something that works seamlessly. A personal media library that is the same wherever you go, and there when you need it. Something effortlessly expandable, that can grow with your library, so you never run out of space. Easy to organize and manage, giving you complete control.

That is why we built Loom. We’re making it quick and easy for you to access and manage your entire photo and video library on every device, without taking up local storage space.

On April 9, Dropbox officially introduced Carousel, an iPhone and Android app aimed at replacing a device’s local Camera Roll with Dropbox photo storage. Carousel displays photos with a vertical grid of thumbnails reminiscent of Loom, and, like Loom, it supports both photos and videos stored in the cloud; unlike Loom, Carousel doesn’t have iPad or web clients for now, as it’s limited to an iPhone app with basic web sharing features. Loom allowed users to manage uploads on their computers with a desktop uploader, an option that is already available in the official Dropbox app for OS X with automatic Camera Uploads.

From Loom’s announcement:

We know this is a big deal. This decision was made with great care. We have worked hard on our product and feel that our vision aligns perfectly with Dropbox’s vision for Carousel. Dropbox has invested the past seven years focusing on building a secure home for your files. And now with Carousel comes a home for your photos and videos as well. We share the common goal of crafting a high quality product, always putting users’ needs first. After spending some serious time investigating if this was the right move for us, we realized that Dropbox has solved many problems around scaling infrastructure and at Dropbox the Loom team will be able to focus entirely on building great features with a fantastic user experience. We are enthusiastic about being able to contribute our ground level perspective to help craft a beautiful experience for our users. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters most to us.

Loom allowed users to set up a free trial with 5 GB of storage and the possibility to extend free space to 10 GB through referrals; the service had both monthly and yearly plans starting at $4.99 and $49.99 respectively for 50 GB of storage.

For existing Loom users, Dropbox has built a migration tool that will transfer photos from Loom to Dropbox; Loom storage will be converted to Dropbox storage for free users, while Loom Pro customers will keep the same storage on Dropbox for free, for a year. Existing Loom users will be able to continue using the service until May 16, 2014; users will also be able to request an archive of their libraries with original photos and videos in a .zip archive.

Loom marks the second acquisition by Dropbox in the past month — in late March, the company acquired social reading app Readmill for an undisclosed sum.


Photos+ 1.1 Adds Dropbox Support

Photos+, which I first covered in December when Second Gear launched it on the App Store, has today been updated to version 1.1, adding Dropbox integration and finding a new home at SilverPine Software.

Photos+ 1.0 was a simple Photos.app replacement with viewing features that supported EXIF metadata for location, time stamps, and more. From my original review:

Photos+ provides an alternative way to view photos you’ve taken on your iPhone if you don’t like the new Photos app of iOS 7. Photos+ doesn’t have any time or location-based sorting feature – it’s a mosaic of large photo thumbnails displayed in reverse chronological order (from newest to oldest). There are no settings, no filters to exclude screenshots from the list, and no special gestures to learn. As you scroll, you can tap thumbnails to open photos in full-screen; when you want to dismiss a photo, you flick it up or down like a card.

Photos+ 1.1 has kept the app’s straightforward approach and visualization of photos, but thanks to Dropbox integration it can now look for photos inside a Dropbox folder. Photos loaded from the Dropbox retain the same options of local photos: you can view metadata, share photos, and open a location panel to see where a photo was taken on a map. Obviously, the app requires a few extra seconds to load a full-resolution photo from Dropbox — thumbnails are loaded at a lower-res to speed up the experience — but everything else works just like the old app.

Unfortunately, I can’t use Photos+ 1.1 with my current Dropbox photo management workflow because the app doesn’t support sub-folders: the app can only load photos stored in a single folder (like the default Camera Uploads one in Dropbox), and this means that I can’t currently use Photos+as a photo viewer for my photo collection, which is organized in folders for years and sub-folders for months. I understand that most users who rely on Dropbox for photo storage and management usually keep photos in one folder, but I think it’d be nice to provide a setting to specify where and how the app should look for photos in your account (Carousel, released last week by Dropbox, shares a similar problem).

Photos+ 1.1 is available on the App Store.



Bjango Releases Skala Color, Free Color Picker For OS X

Skala for Mac isn’t ready for its public debut yet, but Bjango, makers of Skala Preview and iStat, have today released Skala Color, a free plugin for the OS X Color Picker that comes with useful options for designers and developers and that offers a glimpse of features that will be included in the final Skala app.

Skala Color is a standard OS X color picker, so it works with most Mac apps. Skala Color is free, to help spread the word about Skala, our upcoming design tool.

Once installed, Skala Color adds a special color picker tab to the system-wide OS X color panel, which has supported a plugin architecture for years now (notable examples include Panic’s Developer Color Picker and Jesper’s Hex Color Picker). Skala Color combines a traditional color picker UI with sliders for opacity and 4x precision hue. The hex code of the color you’re currently previewing is available in the middle of the window with a button to quickly copy it in the clipboard; if you already have a color code in the clipboard, Skala Color will automatically recognize it and let you preview it in the picker with the click of a button.

With Skala, Bjango wants to build a “precise user interface and icon design tool”, and today’s Skala Color provides a sneak peek at the development and design-oriented options that will likely be part of the final product. Color codes can be displayed in standard hex, but you can also use Float and CSS RGB/RGBA/HSVA/HSL, as well as NSColor and UIColor formats – Bjango wants to offer options for web, iOS, OS X, and Android developers, so whether you need to pick colors for an iPhone app or a website, Skala Color will come in handy.

Skala Color is available for free from Bjango’s website; you can check out Skala’s teaser page here.