Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) highly anticipated wearable may face an uphill battle in Europe where, according to a survey, the populace doesn't appear to be interested in the Apple Watch, at least not nearly as much as Chinese and American consumers. The indifference likely stems from the fact that some of the most highly touted features of the device are old news in the Old World.
German market research group, GfK, conducted the survey, asking 1,000 smartphone owners from each market (Germany, UK, China, US, South Korea) about their interest in various smartwatch functions, assuming the device was completely secure.
Apple added the ability to share your whereabouts with other iMessage users in the release of iOS 8. You can choose to share your current location once via text message or share your location in every text sent for an hour, one day or indefinitely. Here's how to share your location with another person, or how stop sharing your location in case you accidentally enabled the feature:
Share your current location one time:
1. Open your Messages app
2. Select the the message thread you want to use (This also works for group messages)
3. Tap Details in the upper right hand corner
4. Tap Send My Current Location
This will send your current location to the person or to all the people using iMessage in that thread. The "Details" section is also where you can leave a group message, delete another person you added from a group message or change the name of a group message. From here you can also choose to share your location multiple times throughout the day.
The iPhone 6 has already seen record breaking sales since its September launch, and the numbers are poised to jump even higher as Apple expands to 36 new countries by the end of October, bringing the total to 69 countries/territories. The company plans for its flagship phone to be available in 115 countries by the end of the year.
Next up, and by far the most important as far as sales numbers are concerned, is China, whose telecom providers began offering pre-orders last Friday. If the estimates are correct, 20 million units have been pre-ordered already, which is twice the amount of iPhones that sold in the U.S. over the launch weekend. Both models will
Things are really heating up for Marvel Entertainment, Guardians of the Galaxy is the highest grossing film of 2014, and the internet is buzzing about Captain America 3 kicking off a Civil War storyline in the cinematic universe. Marvel has also teamed up with Kabam to create an Injustice-like fighting game called Contest of Champions for mobile devices.
Contest of Champions seems to be loosely based on the 1982 comic book series where The Collector uses various Marvel superheroes as pawns in a battle with The Elder of the Universe, the Grandmaster and Death. Players can create a team of any four heroes from the available 25 in the game to compete in a Quest mode or battle against other players in a Versus mode. The game features the typical fighting game style controls and each character comes equipped with three different special moves / powers.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) share prices continued to hover around $100 over the course of last week's trading. Tuesday saw the low close of the week at $98.75, but prices rallied from there and closed at $100.73 on Friday. There could be an uptick this Thursday following Apple's media event. The company is expected to, at the very least, unveil the next generation iPad Air and a 27 inch Retina display iMac. OS X Yosemite will likely be released to the public as well.
Perhaps the confidence in the latter half of the week resulted from Carl Icahn's extreme optimism. In a letter to Tim Cook titled "Sale: Apple Shares at Half Price," the billionaire investor urged Apple to buy back more stock at a faster pace. His reasoning lies in the fact that Icahn Enterprises' analysis of Apple concludes that the stock is "dramatically undervalued." By their numbers, Apple stock should be trading at around $203 per share.
Last Thursday, brand consulting firm Interbrand released its annual list of the world's most valuable brands, and for the second consecutive year, Apple topped it. The list valued the Apple brand at $118.9 billion, 21% more than it was valued last year. With a value of $107.4 billion, fellow tech giant Google was the only other brand to be valued over $100 billion. Coca Cola, IBM and Microsoft rounded out the top five.
Apple also received some noteworthy praise in the form of a letter from billionaire investor Carl Icahn to CEO Tim Cook. Titled "Sale: Apple Shares at Half Price," the note urges Apple to buy back more of its shares at a faster pace. Icahn believes Apple shares are currently trading at about half their value. By his estimates, Apple shares should currently be worth $203 a share.
Incoming call controls can be modified on jailbroken iOS devices with the tweak Cou. Once installed, Cou changes the steps required to decline an incoming call. Instead of a "slide to answer" slider, the user is presented with two individual buttons, Decline and Accept.
Tapping Decline will have the same effect as pressing the power button twice, which declines the call. This can make it faster and easier to decline a call, however the buttons can also be accidentally pressed more easily. Cou provides a toggle to enable or disable the tweak entirely.
There were a lot of big app updates this week as developers caught up with iOS 8. Zynga's Words with Friends not only received a redesign for its fifth birthday, but it is also now called New Words with Friends. The popular word game now features a flatter interface and Solo Mode, which allows users to play alone without an internet connection. Temple Run 2 was updated with NFL players starting with Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson. Temple Run 2 with both Kaepernick and Wilson is now available for free on the App Store. Be sure to check out all of this week's noteworthy app updates at the bottom of this post.
This week also saw a lot of big game announcements including trailers for Marvel Contest of Champions, Kingdom Rush Origins, Tilt to Live: Gauntlet's Revenge and Dead Mage Studio's Epic of Kings. You can watch all of these trailers at the bottom of this post.
One quick PSA, Apple is closing the date loophole in iOS 8.1 that allows users to install emulators like GBA4iOS. You can read more about the problem here.
According to a report released by the NPD Group earlier today, Apple has sold more accessories during the two weeks following the iPhone 6 launch than in the same period after any other iPhone launch.
The Group's Weekly Tracking Service showed record breaking sales of $249 million, which amounts to a 43% increase over the two weeks prior to the launch. By comparison, the iPhone 5s and 5c launch generated $195 million in mobile phone accessory sales, about 17% greater than the two weeks leading up to their launch date.
Zombie Highway 2 is now available for free on the App Store. The Zombie Highway trilogy is a series of survival / endless runner-like games, including the spin-off Zombie Highway: Driver's Ed, where players must survive a drive on zombie infested highways.
What makes Zombie Highway unique is while most racing games discourage hitting obstacles, players are encouraged to sideswipe overturned cars and barricades to scrape off zombies clinging to the sides of their car. Players can also run over slower zombies and use various weapons to blow them away, but ammo is limited and the best defense is smashing into things. However, you can only sideswipe obstacles, hitting them head-on will end the game. Only grazing obstacles isn't that easy when you have two to three zombies rocking your vehicle back and forth making it harder to control.