Apple changed its App Store Review Guidelines in 2014 to allow the use of virtual currency which opened the door for apps such as eGifter to start accepting Bitcoin payments. The new guidelines also allowed an app called SaruTubi, that tips players in Bitcoins for playing a game, to recently be released for iOS devices.
Players can donate to a shared Bitcoin wallet or "pot" which will contribute to the virtual tips awarded to users for playing the game. Additional Bitcoins will be added to the pot from revenue received from in-app purchases and ads. The game's developer Christian Moss told Coin Desk, that he decided to add the tipping feature because he "thought it would be a nice way to introduce Bitcoin to people who are not familiar with it yet."
Case manufacturer LifeProof today unveiled its newest waterproof iPhone 6 case at CES 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Fre Power is not only waterproof up to 6.6 feet, but it is also equipped with a 2,600 mAH battery, which LifeProof claims will double your iPhone's battery life. The backup also features “smart charging technology” that allows it to shut itself down when your battery is fully charged.
LifeProof also claims that its Fre Power case will protect your iPhone from falls as high as 6.6 feet, and that it is dust and snow proof. Pricing and availability are unknown at this time, but you can sign up for a Fre Power email notification at LifeProof.com.
AT&T fired another salvo in the ongoing battle between mobile carriers today. Responding to T-Mobile's Data Stash announcement, AT&T launched Rollover Data. Long-time AT&T subscribers will recognize the Rollover concept, which was applied to voice minutes in older calling plans. Rollover Data makes it possible to carry over an unused data allotment into the following month.
This can help prevent overages and additional costs for eligible customers. The Rollover Data is shareable between devices, and will expire at the end of the rollover month if not used. The entire cycle begins again with each billing period. Rollover Data is set to begin on January 25, but what plans are eligible for the feature?
Kevo Plus: Lock manufacturer Kwikset unveiled Kevo Plus, an extension of its Kevo platform. The upgrade allows existing and new Kevo smartlock owners to lock and unlock their doors from anywhere in the world. Other new features include real time activity monitoring and the ability to distribute an unlimited number of Anytime and Scheduled eKeys to other users of the app. The Kwikset Bluetooth enabled deadbolt is available starting at $198 through Kwikset.com or Amazon.com. The Kevo deadbolt and iOS app work with your iPhone so you never have to fumble around with physical keys ever again.
AAPL Financial News Weekly Roundup: Share Prices Slip Again, Legere Sees a Bright Future for Wearables and More
After regaining some ground during Christmas week, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) stock slipped again last week. The share price opened Monday at $113.91 and closed the week on Friday at $109.33. Prices fell again today, closing at $106.25. There doesn't seem to be anything in particular to warrant the recent drops. iPhone 6 demand is higher than ever and this should be a record breaking quarter, billionaire investor Carl Icahn still thinks Apple shares are dramatically undervalued and the Apple Watch launch is just around the corner.
Aside from Apple, T-Mobile CEO John Legere has high expectations for the Apple Watch. In fact, in a blog post last week, he wrote that the "Apple Watch will mark the tipping point when wearables go from niche to mainstream," and that the wearable market would go from $1 billion to $20 billion in the next few years. He also believes phablet sales will be up 50% in 2015.
Zagg, the creators of the popular invisibleSHIELD screen protector, has unveiled their latest iPhone accessories at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada. First up is the "Zagg Speaker Case for iPhone 6". The case is equipped with a detachable Bluetooth speaker and offers up to “8 hours of additional talk time" thanks to its 1800mAh battery pack and built-in USB outlet.
Zagg also announced the "Pocket" -- a wireless keyboard stand for the iPhone. The keyboard promises to deliver a similar typing experience as a full-sized Bluetooth keyboard while still folding into a pocket-sized 9” X 2.5” X .5” rectangle for easy transport.
'Twas slow for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) news last week; while there were several work days, I suspect the vast majority was still in holiday mode for the last few days of 2014 and the first couple of the new year. There were still several items of note though.
Apple's acquisition of Beats was further justified when Nielsen SoundScan released its year end statistics last week. The numbers showed a big trend toward streaming audio and a drop off in music purchases. According to the data, there were 164 billion streams in 2014, compared to 106 billion in 2013, a 54% increase. Album sales dropped 9%, to 117.6 million, while song sales dropped 12%, to 1.26 billion.
It was a slow week for App Store releases since Apple's iTunes Connect was shutdown from December 22-29, but there were a few noteworthy jailbreak tweaks released to Cydia over the holidays. Here's a quick look at some of the tweaks and the few apps released to Cydia and the App Store from 12/29/14 to 01/04/15. The App Store should start filling up again with new apps and games now that it has been open for one full week.
Apple's Free App of the Week is Icycle: On Thin Ice. The game will be free on the Apple App Store until 01/09/14. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook so you never miss a new App Store or Cydia release.
The Emojimo Keyboard is a new iOS 8 app that transforms almost every word you type into an emoji. This not only saves you time from having to search for the perfect emojicon, but it is also a fun way to annoy your friends.
The Emojimo Keyboard is easy to use, but first you must enable it on your iOS device. After you have installed the app on your iPhone or iPad, navigate to Settings > General > Keyboard and tap the "Keyboards" panel. Next, tap "Add New Keyboard" and select "Emojimo Automagical Keyboard" from the list of keyboard options. Finally, go back to the Keyboards screen and tap the newly added "Emojimo Automagical Keyboard" panel to activate the keyboard on your device.
Since smart phones revolutionized the mobile phone industry almost a decade ago, Christmas day has seen the most mobile device activations every year, and the trend continued in 2014. According to the analytics firm Flurry, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) handily beat the competition this holiday season, as evidenced by that metric over the week leading up to and including Christmas.
In its analysis, Flurry found that Apple accounted for 51% of device activations worldwide between December 19th and 25th. Samsung followed with 18% and Nokia accounted for about 6%.