Posts in news

Apple Debuts New ‘Your Verse’ iPad Adverts

Earlier today Apple posted two more iPad ads as part of their ongoing 'Your Verse' series. These latest two ads feature Detroit community activist Jason Hall and the Beijing-based electropop musicians of Yaoband. The 'Your Verse' series of ads tell stories about how different people use their iPad in their own unique ways, not only through a 30-second ad, but also through dedicated webpages that tell their stories in more detail.

Part of the 'Your Verse' webpages are dedicated to highlighting the apps used frequently by those featured in the ad. For Jason Hall that includes Prezi, Penultimate and Phoster.

It began simply enough. Just 10 friends on a Monday night ride. Soon it was 20. Then 30. In its second year, the ride grew from 130 to 300 cyclists in two weeks. As the numbers increased, Hall turned to his iPad and made it the command center for all things Slow Roll. “We use it for everything we do, from mapping to communicating to ordering new T-shirts,” he says.

For Yaoband they use iMaschine to capture various sounds that they use in their performances, whilst also using iMusic Studio and iMPC.

Inspired by the pulse of life in modern China, they started by capturing audio samples with iPad and turning them into progressive beats. Nothing was sacred as they flowed in and out of musical genres, mixing electronica with rock, rap, and traditional Chinese songs. “We were just like scientists in a lab, trying many formulas,” says Peter. “Every single song was a surprise, because it was always better than I imagined.”

You can view the full ads below, or view them on the 'Your Verse' pages for Yaoband and Jason Hall.

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Apple Claims to Support 629,000 European Jobs, European Developers Take 32.5% of App Store Revenues

As first noticed by 9to5 Mac, Apple has published a webpage dedicated to promoting the impact that they have had in creating or supporting 629,000 jobs in Europe (defined as EU member countries plus Norway and Switzerland). They break the numbers down a bit more, attributing 497,000 to the App Store, 132,000 to jobs directly or indirectly supported by Apple, 116,000 jobs created at other companies as a result of Apple's growth, and 16,000 Apple employees.

Throughout our history, we have created entirely new products - and entirely new industries - by focusing on innovation. This has resulted in nearly 630,000 European jobs at Apple and at developers and businesses supported by Apple. In addition, the App Store has created hundreds of thousands of jobs that previously did not exist in the European economy, enabling developers to launch new companies and earn $6.5 billion from App Store sales worldwide.

Interestingly, they reveal that $6.5 billion in App Store revenues has been paid to European developers, given that $20 billion has been paid to developers in total, this means the share of App Store revenue taken by European developers is 32.5%. Apple has previously revealed US developers have received $9 billion, but that figure hasn't been updated since late last year, so can't be used to calculate an accurate share of revenues taken by US developers.

Share of App Store Revenues

Europe (32.5%) - Rest of World (67.5%)

MindNode 3.2 with Image Support

MindNode, my favorite app to outline ideas visually on both iOS and OS X, was updated last week with a notable addition: embedded images.

I use MindNode to flesh out ideas and thoughts that help me find connections and relationships through the use of colors, branches, and formatting of text. Typically, large reviews, roundups, and articles for this site start as a plain text list in Evernote, but before writing in Editorial, I transform that list into a map in MindNode to get a better visual understanding of the topic(s) I want to cover. Images were an obvious candidate for mindmaps, and while other apps already supported them, I wanted to be able to insert images in maps with the simplicity of MindNode's interface and iCloud storage.

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Fantastical 2.1

Released last week, Fantastical 2.1 is a pretty big update to my favorite calendar app for iPhone and iPad that brought the usual variety of fixes and improvements, snooze options for notifications (which I don't use, as I rely on native iCloud alerts), and other enhancements such as upcoming birthday and new event invitation notifications. Being on vacation prevented me from preparing a review in time for the update's release (it turns out, this is not an ideal spot for good 3G coverage), but I still wanted to focus on three additions to Fantastical that I'm particularly fond of.

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Yep, Apple’s ‘Stickers’ Ad Gave MacBook Sticker Sellers a Huge Boost

When Apple published their new 'Stickers' ad for the MacBook Air last week, I presumed it would be a boon for sellers of MacBook stickers and decals. So earlier this week I decided to reach out to a few sellers of MacBook stickers and decals to see what kind of impact the ad from Apple has had on their store visits and sales.

Now this was not an in-depth investigation and the result is probably what you would have guessed: visits and sales rose dramatically last week when Apple's ad was released. It was the universal reaction I got from the sellers I talked to.

One of the sellers that was willing to give me more detailed information was Benjamin Clark from The Decal Guru. They saw a quadrupling of orders for MacBook decals since the airing of Apple's ad. In terms of unique visitors they saw an increase from a steady 500 per day (prior to the ad) to 4,500 at its highest last week.

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Apple Refreshes Retina MacBook Pro With Faster Processor, Doubled RAM on Two Models

Apple this morning refreshed their MacBook Pro with Retina display models with the latest generation of Intel's Haswell processors. All things considered, it's a minor update with each of the five base models receiving a 0.2GHz processor speed bump. All that means is the base model goes from 2.4GHz to 2.6GHz, whilst the most powerful preconfigured model goes from 3.5GHz to 3.7GHz. The other notable hardware change is the doubling of RAM for the base model 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro (from 4GB to 8GB) and base model 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro (from 8GB to 16GB). Finally, the 15-inch 2.5GHz model gets a price drop of $100, now selling for US$2,499.

“People love their MacBook Pro because of the thin and light, aluminum unibody design, beautiful Retina display, all day battery life and deep integration with OS X,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The MacBook Pro with Retina display gets even better with faster processors, more memory, more affordable configurations and a free upgrade to OS X Yosemite this fall.”

Also worth noting is that Apple today also dropped the price of the MacBook Pro (without the Retina display) by $100, so it now sells for $1,099. For those of you considering purchasing one of the new MacBook Pros, and live in the northern hemisphere, keep in mind that Apple's Back to School promotion is currently running. So if you purchase one of these new Retina MacBook Pros (or any other Mac) before September 9 you'll get a $100 Apple Store card.

Read Apple's Press Release or view the new models on Apple's website.

FiftyThree Releases SDK for Their Pencil Stylus

The FiftyThree SDK has been implemented by Procreate, allowing it to fully support the Pencil Stylus

The FiftyThree SDK has been implemented by Procreate, allowing it to fully support the Pencil Stylus

FiftyThree, the company behind the popular 'Paper' sketching app, have today released an SDK for their 'Pencil' stylus which is now available internationally. The SDK incorporates advanced features enabled by the Pencil that were previously limited to FiftyThree's own Paper app. In preparation for today's release, FiftyThree has worked with the developers of Procreate, Noteshelf, and Squiggle which will offer full support for the FiftyThree SDK.

With the FiftyThree SDK, developers worldwide can now tap into Pencil’s industry­leading technologies and find support from a team that values true partnerships. Developers are already discovering new ways of using Pencil to bring the power of natural creativity to their apps, from professional drawing to making music, starting with our partners Procreate, Noteshelf, and Squiggle.

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