Recent Articles By Jeff Gamet [RSS]

Flappy Bird Where it Belongs: On the Apple IIc

11:42 AM, Jul. 18th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

Love it or hate it, Flappy Bird has been an amazingly successful game on the iPhone and iPad, but it's been missing from the one computer that's the perfect platform for its 8-bit flapping goodness: the Apple IIc. Dagen Brock has fixed that horrible oversite with his new Flappy Birds clone called Flapple Bird. Game play is keyboard-based, which makes sense considering touch screen computing wasn't a thing back in 1980s. You can download Flapple Bird for free, and it's available versions for 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch floppy disks.

Reminder: Apple Q3 2014 Earnings Report Next Tuesday

11:22 AM, Jul. 18th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Apple Stock Watch

Apple's third fiscal earnings report for 2014 is set for Tuesday, July 22. The conference call for analysts and investors will start around 5PM eastern time after the market closes, and The Mac Observer will be at the ready with our usual event coverage. Be sure to check in with us for the latest on Apple's revenue and product sales numbers.

EU Pushes Apple, Google to Drop “Free” from Games with In-app Purchases

10:55 AM, Jul. 18th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

The European Union's European Commission thinks free games with in-app purchases shouldn't be called "free," and has been pushing Apple and Google to change how they represent those apps to buyers. Google has capitulated, and now the EU is calling out Apple for failing to take action, although Apple thinks it's already doing more than other companies to keep consumers well informed.

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This comes down to the EU saying free isn't really free if in-app purchases are available. Apple seems to disagree, so now we get to sit back and watch to see who blinks first.

Amazon Moves to Own More of the Ebook Market with Kindle Unlimited

10:15 AM, Jul. 18th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Amazon officially announced its Kindle Unlimited ebook and audio book subscription service on Friday, and in the process reaffirmed its plan to own as much of the book market as it can. Kindle Unlimited is a US$9.99 a month subscription that gives users unlimited access to 600,000 ebooks and several thousand audio books on their Kindle, or in the Kindle app for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

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Charging $9.99 a month for as many ebooks as you can read is a business model other retailers simply won't be able to compete against. If you read even two books a month it'll be more economical to subscribe than it would be to buy the titles anywhere else.

iPhone 6 Production to Ramp Up Next Week

9:35 AM, Jul. 18th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple is ready to start building the rumored 4.7-inch iPhone 6 next week, and will ramp up production of the larger 5.5-inch model during the second week in August. Rumors surrounding the features Apple plans to pack into the next iPhone model have been circulating for months, and more recently have grown to include a late September release which fits with a manufacturing ramp up now.

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There isn't any firm evidence to back up the report that Apple will start building the iPhone 6 next week, but the timing does fit nicely for a late September release.

TMO Daily Observations: 2014-07-17

1:14 PM, Jul. 17th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Apple's iTunes Pass landed in the United States today, but exactly what does it do? Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to explain just what iTunes Pass is for and what it could become if Apple wants to turn our iPhones into digital wallets. They also take a look and Microsoft's big layoff plans and how that could impact the company.

Apple Brings iTunes Pass Account Reloading to US Stores

10:39 AM, Jul. 17th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple's Passbook-based iTunes Pass system for adding money to your iTunes account launched in Japan only days ago and now is available in the United States, too. The system lets users pre-load thier iTunes account in retail stores via a Passbook card. Those credits can then be redeemed for iTunes and App Store purchases, much like gift card balances work today.

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iTunes Pass is limited to purchases through Apple because it's another way to add money to your iTunes account. Presumably Apple has bigger plans for this which will turn our iPhones into proper digital wallets.

Microsoft Cutting 18,000 Jobs, Biggest Layoff in Company History

9:56 AM, Jul. 17th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed on Thursday that he's planning massive layoffs amounting to the biggest in the company's history. About 18,000 employees will get pink slips over the next year and the majority of those will come from staff that was absorbed from its purchase of Nokia's handset division.

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A 15 percent workforce reduction is pretty big. Mr. Nadella seems to really want to see serious change at Microsoft now that he's in charge.

Blue’s Mikey Digital for iPhone gets Lightning Connector

8:54 AM, Jul. 17th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Product News

Blue announced the immediate availability of a Lightning connector version of its popular Mikey Digital microphone for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch on Thursday. Like its 30-pin Dock Connector predecessor, the Lightning Mikey Digital lets users capture higher quality audio compared to their iPhone or iPad's built-in microphone.