All posts by Aiden

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Facebook Pulling Chat Functionality From Mobile App

As reported by TechCrunch, Facebook will be removing the messaging functionality from its mobile app over the next few days, requiring users to download its Messenger app in order to chat on-the-go.

Source: TechCrunch
Source: TechCrunch

Facebook first started requiring users in Europe to use Messenger back in April, but after seeing “positive results” in terms of engagement, its rolling out the plan to the everyone. Facebook tells me people on Messenger reply about 20% faster, and not supporting multiple version of mobile chat will help it make both its main apps and Messenger better.

Previously, users had the option of downloading the Messenger app as a companion to Facebook’s flagship mobile app, but with the change, it appears that this would now be mandatory for users interested in chatting with others while on the road.

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Apple Confirms Acquisition of Radio App Swell

Earlier this week, it was reported that Apple was in the midst of acquiring radio app Swell for a sum of US$30 million. The deal has now been confirmed by Wall Street Journal reporter Daisuke Wakabayashi, who has apparently received Apple’s standard statement for acquisition of smaller companies.

Apple confirms Swell deal w: we buy “smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Swell Radio was a mobile streaming application that worked in a similar fashion to music streaming service Pandora, learning users’ listening preferences and curating personalised streams based on various available podcasts and shows.

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More Claims of iWatch Production Delay Surface

As noted by GforGames, TPK Holding Co. Ltd, Apple’s rumoured supplier for the ‘iWatch’, has pushed back its bullish third-quarter profit forecast by three months, hinting at production delays for the wearable.

The announcement was made at the company’s recent press conference in Taiwan, with representatives claiming that things were not looking as rosy as predicted for the fiscal third-quarter.

TPK’s expectations have been based on the idea that the iWatch will enter mass production in the third quarter of the year, but apparently, like it has been rumored, it didn’t happen.

Instead, TPK now expects a considerable increase in profits throughout Q4 2014, which hints at the idea that the iWatch will enter mass production within the aforementioned time-frame, as opposed to Q3.

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Apple Refreshes Retina MacBook Pro Lineup, Brings Faster CPUs and More RAM Standard

As predicted earlier, Apple has refreshed its Retina MacBook Pro line-up, bringing processor improvements and price cuts across several models.

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“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.”

As detailed on the Apple Online Store, both the 13-inch and 15-inch models have been updated with Intel’s latest Core i5 and Core i7 processors respectively, bringing speeds boosts of 200 MHz across the broad.

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European Commission Clears Apple’s US$3 Billion Acquisition of Beats

As noted by Engadget, the European Commission today gave Apple’s US$3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics the green light, clearing one of the regulatory hurdles the tech giant faces in its bid to close the mammoth transaction.

The EU commission ruled that the merger “did not raise concerns because the combined (headphone) market share of Apple and Beats Electronics is low.” That might sound like an odd thing to say about Apple, but the EU pointed out that after buying Beats, it would still have Bose, Sennheiser, Sony and other competitors in the sector. As a result, Apple/Beats would be far from a headphone monopoly, which was the EU’s main concern.

Apple announced the acquisition back in May, with CEO Tim Cook stating that the deal was not about “what the two companies are doing today”, but rather, about what the synergies generated between the two can “produce for the future”.

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Updated Retina MacBook Pros Coming Tuesday, July 29

Apple’s speed-bumped Retina MacBook Pros are coming earlier than expected. Following yesterday’s sighting of an in-store signage detailing updated 15-inch models, French site MacG.co (via Google Translate) is reporting that these new iterations of Apple’s high-end laptop will be released tomorrow, July 29.

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We did not have in hand the detailed configurations, only registrations designating changes in both 13-inch Retina ranges (J44a) and 15 inches (j45a).

The new internal model numbers suggest that the updates will likely be incremental, which is in line with yesterday’s report claiming minor memory and processor upgrades.

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Apple to Acquire Radio App Swell for US$30 Million

Apple is close to acquiring radio app Swell Radio for US$30 million, according to a report by Re/Code.

Apple is close to buying the Pandora-for-talk-radio app Swell, according to multiple sources. The deal is worth about $30 million, these sources say.

Swell Radio is a mobile streaming application that works in a similar fashion to music streaming service Pandora, learning users’ listening preferences and curating personalised streams based on various available podcasts and shows.

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iPhone 6 concept design by Martin Hajek

iPhone 6 Circuit Board Purporting to Support NFC and 802.11ac Wi-Fi Surfaces

French site Nowhereelse.fr yesterday shared photos of what it claims is a circuit board for the upcoming iPhone 6.

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According to the site, the photos were obtained from a Chinese source which it claims is “particularly reliable”. The purported iPhone 6 motherboard is shown alongside an iPhone 5s PCB, revealing a somewhat similar design between the two, except for a much longer bracket on the iPhone 6 component.

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Apple Acquires Book Recommendation Startup BookLamp

Apple confirmed on Friday (via Re/Code) that it had acquired BookLamp, a startup based in Idaho, United States that provided a book recommendation service.

Booklamp's closure notice on its site
BookLamp’s closure notice on its site

The Silicon Valley giant issued the following statement, which it typically gives when it acquires smaller companies: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans”.

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