This past week you may have received a notification from Facebook alerting you that the company is "making ads better and giving you more control". This is part of Facebook's plan to start pushing more targeted ads to your news feed based on your browsing habits. Even though Facebook is allowing users to add and remove certain ads from their news feed, some people do not like the idea of the company tracking their web surfing history.
UPDATE: Facebook has informed us they will "not share browsing history with advertisers and won’t do so even with these new changes. Facebook will include info from website and apps to inform targeting on Facebook. But no information is shared with advertisers."
Here's how to limit targeted ads on your iOS device and Facebook news feed:
On your iPhone navigate to Settings > Privacy > Advertising and tap the "Limit Ad Tracking" slider so it turns green.
On your Mac or PC you can use the standard Digital Advertising Alliance form to opt out of receiving interest-based advertising from participating companies.
iOS users with an Amazon Prime subscription now have another free music streaming option. Amazon rolled out its new music streaming service called "Prime Music" for Amazon Prime members. The service gives users access to over a million songs, hundreds of Amazon curated playlists and the ability to download tracks for offline listening.
Early reports suggest that Amazon's music library is not as deep as Pandora or Spotify, but the service is ad-free if you already have an Amazon Prime account. Not to mention, a $99 yearly subscription also nabs you free shipping from Amazon.com, access to Amazon's movie streaming service and deals on select products. A yearly subscription to Pandora may be cheaper, but it only offers ad-free music, not all the perks of an Amazon Prime subscription.
A major redesign of Skype for iPhone is coming to the App Store. Version 5.0 is on the way, as the previous Skype app has already been pulled ahead of the new release. The developers aim to bring a consistent look and feel to the mobile app across all platforms, while taking advantage of the unique features of iOS.
Skype 5.0 is the most significant redesign ever delivered to the iPhone, and the app has already started rolling out to selected markets. The new app is centered around a hub showing recent conversations, and features in app notifications for quick conversation switching.
The rumor mill has been churning out questionable "iWatch" speculations and forecasts for some time now. That the product exists and will launch within a year seems a certainty at this point. If it does launch later this year, UBS analyst Steve Milunovich believes that it could match the iPad's success, selling 21 million units in 2015 and up to 36 million during the following year.
In a note to investors obtained by AppleInsider, Milunovich writes that, with a projected retail price of $300, the iWatch could see margins of around 25% at launch time, increasing to the low 30s over several quarters. He estimates sales
Google today announced that iOS developers can now sign up for the company's Instant Buy API program. Google Instant Buy allows developers to add an easy to use "Buy With Google" button to their mobile apps for iOS devices.
Google claims 97% of mobile shoppers abandoned their shopping carts because they typically "have to fill out up to 25 fields to checkout." Google Wallet allows customers to skip the annoying registration process by offering an easy 2-click check out option in all apps that offers its service. The Instant Buy service also works with a developer's existing payment processor and guarantees secure transactions.
Starting today, Apple users can listen to the live ESPN Radio network stream on their iPhone, iPad and iPod touch running iOS 7.0 or later. ESPN Radio is the first sports provider on iTunes Radio, and it will stream the same content as its terrestrial radio counterparts.
Sports fans will be able to enjoy sports talk shows including Mike & Mike, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, SVP & Russillo, just to name a few, and live events like the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Major League Baseball, including the World Series. ESPN said they are also looking to "bring expanded local station content to its listeners in the future," and noted that its ESPN podcasts and on-demand content will still be available for download on iTunes.
The internet is ablaze with reports about Apple rejecting apps that reward players who watch video ads, or for sharing apps on social media. The original report from TechCrunch claims a few developers have received rejection letters for ignoring key sections of Apple’s Developer Guidelines, including a rule that prohibits apps that "attempt to manipulate or cheat the user reviews or chart ranking in the App Store with fake or paid reviews." The recent crackdown is also affecting a small number of apps that earn money from in-game advertisements hosted by AdColony, Vungle and AppLovin, according to AdExchanger.
TechCrunch points to Apple's new iOS 8 App Store overhaul as the reason for the rejection letters.
"With the introduction of the revamped iOS App Store in iOS 8, Apple revealed a number of changes to the app discovery process, with new features that help users find apps by trending keywords, by category and subcategory, by related search terms, and more. Developers can even promote their apps in 'bundles.' But as these changes indicate, what the company didn’t reveal is that it’s not only trying to reinvent app discovery with iOS 8; it’s also trying to own it."
Now that the WWDC and iOS 8 are out of the way it is time for our first 2014 rumor roundup starting with an alleged leak of the iPhone 6 shell. The purported images of the rear casing for Apple's next-generation handset were originally published on Nowhereelse.fr. The photos reveal cutouts for new pill shaped volume buttons and the rumored relocated power button.
Analysts are predicting that Apple will announce a 5.5-inch iPhone alongside the standard 4.7-inch model in late September. If true, it is expected that the power button will be moved to the side of the device to make it easier to access due to its larger form factor.
The big news of last week was the 7-to-1 stock split that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares underwent on Friday after the market closed. All shareholders of record as of market close last Monday, June 2, received an additional six shares. The price per share was $645 at closing on Friday and opened today at the split adjusted price of $92.70.
Shortly after Apple announced an API for Touch ID, Paypal announced that it will incorporate the fingerprint sensor into its mobile apps. This will facilitate fast, secure and convenient mobile payments. According to Business Insider, "Touch ID may also anchor an eventual full-fledged mobile wallet service from Apple itself."
The past week's news revolved entirely around the Worldwide Developers Conference, which kicked off with a keynote presentation on Monday morning. Much of the keynote was devoted to iOS 8, which will be available in the fall, almost certainly with the launch of the iPhone 6 (though they made no mention of the new iPhone during the presentation). Here are some of the notable enhancements of iOS 8:
iOS 8 introduces some big improvements to messaging. In group messaging, individuals can drop out of the conversation or choose a "do not disturb" option. Participants can also share their locations with the group. A new "tap to talk" feature allows you to send brief audio clips which can be heard simply by raising the phone to your ear. You can also view all attachments in a conversation in one place, rather than having to scroll back through the entire conversation.