Posts in news


Igloo: an Intranet You’ll Actually Like [Sponsor]

Why invest in the latest, sleekest devices if you are going to use them to stare at an intranet website that looks like it was built in the 90’s? With Igloo, you don’t have to be stuck at your desk to do your work. Your favourite Intranet is also mobile.

Not only can Igloo be customized to look exactly like your brand, but with its responsive design, it’s automatically optimized for almost any device you’re using, including the latest iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. And just like your favourite Apple devices, Igloo helps you do your best work.

Share files, coordinate calendars, provide status updates and manage projects. Igloo’s not just for your traditional intranet stuff like HR policies and expense forms. It also lets you work better together with your teams. And it keeps getting better.

Their latest upgrade, Viking, gives you more control over how you interact with documents, gather feedback and make changes. They've even added the ability to track who has read critical information (like read receipts in your email, but less annoying) to keep everyone on the same page. You can manage your task list from your laptop during a meeting, share status update from your phone as you are leaving the client’s site, and access the latest version of a file from home (and who doesn’t like to work in their pyjamas?).

Everything is now mobile – work should be too. Not convinced yet? Igloo understands love doesn’t happen overnight. Try Igloo for free for as long as you want with 10 of your favourite coworkers.

Our thanks to Igloo for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Apple Releases Watch OS 1.0.1

Apple has released the first update for Watch OS today, bringing a variety of improvements for Siri, third-party apps, and fitness features on Apple Watch.

In the first update since the device's launch, Apple highlights improved performance for measuring stand activity and calculating calories for indoor cycling and rowing workouts, three of the Apple Watch's fitness-oriented functionalities. The update also notes that Siri and third-party apps should have better performance now – notably, a number of initial reviews of the Apple Watch noted how apps (based on the WatchKit framework) were slow to load and prone to errors.

Watch OS 1.0.1 is available now in the Software Update section of the Apple Watch app for iPhone. You can find the full changelog in the screenshot above.


Apple Refreshes 15-inch MacBook Pro with Force Touch Trackpad & Introduces Lower Priced Retina iMac

Apple today refreshed the 15-inch MacBook Pro, bringing the Force Touch trackpad, faster flash storage, longer battery life and more powerful graphics performance to the product line. The changes come after the 13-inch MacBook Pro was upgraded earlier this year alongside the debut of the new MacBook, both of which included the new Force Touch trackpad.

The new 15-inch MacBook Pros start at $1,999 and come with a 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB memory, 256GB flash storage and Intel Iris Pro graphics.

Apple also released a new configuration of the iMac with Retina 5K display. The new configuration comes in at a lower starting price of $1,999 and includes a 3.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, 1TB storage and AMD Radeon R9 M290 graphics.

“The response to the new MacBook and updated 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has been amazing, and today we are thrilled to bring the new Force Touch trackpad, faster flash storage and longer battery life to the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Customers love the groundbreaking iMac with Retina 5K display, and now with a new lower starting price, even more people can experience the best desktop we’ve ever made.”


NYT Now: Your Guide to the News [Sponsor]

Never know what news is the most important to read about? Do you spend too much time searching your social media accounts looking for reliable news? Head to the App Store and download NYT Now for free.

NYT Now is the fastest way to get caught up with the news, with headlines and story summaries that get readers caught up quickly. Designed for iPhone and on-the-go consumption, NYT Now offers a selection of the best articles from The New York Times, as well as stories from around the web curated and hand-picked by a team of NYT editors. NYT Now even includes a daily Morning Briefing, designed to prepare you for the day ahead.

The New York Times released version 2.0 of NYT Now today, which I've personally been testing for the past week and find excellent. The biggest news is that the app is now completely free with no need to pay a subscription and no cap on the number of articles you can read – it's free and unlimited.

The app itself has received a refreshed user interface, with cards that indicate what an article is about and a sharing menu that supports iOS 8 extensions and even the ability to share articles with image previews on Twitter (see example). I find the app to offer a great mix of NYT content and editorial picks from the web: I've been discovering and saving articles through NYT Now, and I appreciate the variety and balance of topics and authors presented in the app on a daily basis.

Head to the App Store and download NYT Now or visit nytnow.com to learn more. Remember, it’s now completely free to download and use.

Our thanks to The New York Times for sponsoring MacStories this week.




Igloo: An Intranet You’ll Actually Like [Sponsor]

Why invest in the latest, sleekest devices if you are going to use them to stare at an intranet website that looks like it was built in the 90’s?

Not only can Igloo be customized to look exactly like your brand, but with its responsive design, it’s automatically optimized for almost any device you’re using, including the latest iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. And just like your favourite Apple devices, Igloo helps you do your best work.

Share files, coordinate calendars, provide status updates and manage projects. Igloo’s not just for your traditional intranet stuff like HR policies and expense forms. It also lets you work better together with your teams. And it keeps getting better.

Our latest upgrade, Viking, gives you more control over how you interact with documents, gather feedback and make changes. We’ve even added the ability to track who has read critical information (like read receipts in your email, but less annoying) to keep everyone on the same page.

Not convinced yet? We understand love doesn’t happen overnight. If you sign up now, we will let you try our platform for free for as long as you want.

Our thanks to Igloo for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Apple Partners with IBM & Japan Post to Deliver iPads to Elderly in Japan

Apple just announced an interesting new partnership with IBM and Japan Post, with a goal of delivering 4 to 5 million iPads to the elderly in Japan by 2020. As part of the initiative, IBM will deliver custom apps that help connect those who receive the iPads to "services, healthcare, community and their families".

“This initiative has potential for global impact, as many countries face the challenge of supporting an aging population, and we are honored to be involved in supporting Japan’s senior citizens and helping enrich their lives,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “iPad is incredibly intuitive, easy to use and has accessibility features built in, making it a perfect device for any generation to be connected and engaged.”

The initiative, which will begin to roll out in the second-half of this year, is an extension of Japan Post's national 'Watch Over' service:

For a nominal monthly fee, mail carriers check in on elderly customers and assure families about the well-being of their relatives. That service can now be extended and enhanced with iPad, complementing the in-person monitoring.

IBM's A Smarter Planet website has also posted a short blog post from Masaaki Tanaka, one of the original designers tasked with working on the project:

A tiny team at IBM Japan got the whole thing going. My first market research subjects were my mother and my mother-in-law. My mom lives nearby, so I would pop over every couple of weeks to get her reactions to design ideas. Mom is comfortable using an iPad, so she represented our more sophisticated users. My mother-in-law was less experienced with mobile technology, so she stood in for our novices. She now has an iPad and takes it everywhere.

It's unclear whether IBM's custom apps will be released on the App Store for anyone to download, but one would hope so. 4-5 million iPads is a great start, but it's only a drop in the ocean to the millions already out there in the world.

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Apple Q2 2015 Results: $58 Billion Revenue, 61.2 Million iPhones, 12.6 Million iPads Sold

Apple has published their Q2 2015 financial results for the quarter that ended in March 2015. The company posted revenue of $58 billion. The company sold 12.6 million iPads, 61.2 million iPhones, and 4.6 million Macs, earning a quarterly net profit of $13.6 billion.

“We are thrilled by the continued strength of iPhone, Mac and the App Store, which drove our best March quarter results ever,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re seeing a higher rate of people switching to iPhone than we’ve experienced in previous cycles, and we’re off to an exciting start to the June quarter with the launch of Apple Watch.”

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