Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

How Apple Can Win the Education Market

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Rachel Premack writes about how Google has dominated the education market, and how Apple and Microsoft can fight back.

When it comes to education software, which teachers and students use to manage assignments, deadlines, and documents, Apple is lacking — particularly compared to the super-popular and easy-to-use Google Classroom. That might cancel out its other strengths, said Avi Greengart, the research director for consumer devices at GlobalData.

I know everyone says this but I think the biggest thing holding Apple back in education is price.

Mujjo Has a New Line of Blue Leather Cases

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Mujjo is launching a new line of blue leather cases for the latest iPhones. It’s not just any blue. They selected this deep shade of blue which contrasts beautifully with the iPhone’s black bezels and picks up very subtle hints of purple and green in different lighting, reminding us of the inky shades of the deep ocean. It’s a striking blue that stands out from the blacks and the greys, fit for a day at the office or a day at the track, while remaining formal when it needs to. Rest assured, you can go about your day looking the part, whatever the part, knowing you’ll make a good impression. The case adds very little thickness to the iPhone. The edges are raised by 1 mm so that the screen doesn’t touch the surface when you put it down. The buttons are covered in leather and designed to take nothing away from responsiveness. Openings for the camera and mute button are chamfered, adding to the aesthetic of the cases. These cases are crafted to fit the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR.

Mujjo Has a New Line of Blue Leather Cases

ACLU Asks Court to Reveal Details About Breaking Encryption

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In a case earlier this year, the government tried to make Facebook help wiretap certain Messenger voice calls. It was rejected, but the legal arguments the government made for breaking encryption remain under seal. The ACLU wants the details made public.

The case involves the executive branch’s attempt to force a private corporation to break the encryption and other security mechanisms on a product relied upon by the public to have private conversations. The government is not just seeking information held by a third party; rather, it appears to be attempting to get this Court to force a communications platform to redesign its product to thwart efforts to secure communications between users.

How Developers Run App Store Scams and Game the System

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David Barnard takes a close look at App Store scams and manipulation going on. It sounds like it’s easy to game the system.

Apple can and does dramatically shape the App Store economy. Similar to how governments shape economies through tax law and other policies, Apple shapes the App Store economy through App Review policies, App Store implementation details, editorial decisions, the App Store search algorithm, and in so many other subtle (and not so subtle) ways.

There are shady practices going on in the App Store, and Apple should do more to crack down on developers who abuse it.

Anchor Will Help Podcasters Connect With Advertisers

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Podcasting app Anchor wants to make it easier for podcasters to connect with advertisers. It’s launching Sponsorships on its platform.

Starting this week, Sponsorships will be integrated into Anchor’s platform, letting users turn the feature on for the full show or on a per-episode basis. Anchor will then match a custom sponsor based on various factors, including size, recording location and podcast topic, sending hosts a note when they’ve found a proper match.

Sounds like a good idea for beginners and experienced podcasters alike. So far the advertisers on board are SeatGeek, Cash App, Ro, Dirty Lemon, Baboon, Living Proof, The Citizenry and Squarespace.

The Ultimate Guide to iOS 12 Apple Books

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iMore put together a great guide for iOS 12 Apple Books. It covers everything from book samples, downloading/highlighting, PDFs, audiobooks, and more.

Apple Books will now automatically organize your library into several collections, and you can add as many of your own as you wish. In addition to books and audiobooks, you can store PDF files in the app—and all of it can sync among your Apple devices through iCloud.

As you may have known, I’m a big fan of the new Apple Books app and I hope Apple continues to improve it.

Transformers iOS App Launches Raid Battles

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Transformers: Earth Wars is launching a new aspect of gameplay called Raid Battles. Raid Battles are spread across different locations on Cybertron, each of which contain a series of raid bases. These raid bases are high powered, supercharged and rule-defying beasts with special buildings players will not have faced before, such as the Luxon Destabilizer, Railgun Cannon and Thunder Tower, each with its own unique powers. Alliance members will only be able to deal a small percentage of damage to a base with a single attack, so it will be important for players to coordinate their efforts in order to destroy each base. Participating in Raid Battles rewards players with our new unique Cybertronian Currency, Shanix. Using Shanix in the new store, players can acquire unique Power Cores, including new XP Boost Cores, Universal Combiner Sparks, Ore-13 and the ultimate reward, an exclusive 5-star Optimus Primal or BeastWars Megatron. App Store: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

Transformers iOS App Launches Raid Battles

Consumer Groups Want to Block T-Mobile Sprint Merger

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A total of 14 organizations recently sent a letter to Congress saying that the T-Mobile Sprint merger should be blocked.

The concerns range from job losses, it being an anti-competitive and anti-consumer deal, to even incentivizing Verizon, AT&T, and the new T-Mobile to “collude.”

After T-Mobile and Sprint shifted their arguments for why the merger would be beneficial, and this latest barrage of concerns from 14 organizations, the odds of it happening seem to be diminishing.

This quote from The Washington Post says it all: “The general view on Wall Street is that as a result of this deal, there are likely to be job cuts and prices are likely to rise,” he said.

Apple Should Create an Apple TV Streaming Stick

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There’s a rumor going around that Apple could have an Apple TV streaming stick in the works. But how likely is that?

On the surface, the idea makes sense: Streaming sticks are popular. For under $100, they’ll give your TV a zippy, modern interface, every app you could ask for, and coveted technologies like 4K resolution and HDR, all in a sleek and slim package. What’s more, Apple is pushing its new TV service and may be looking for an accessible way to peddle its new TV shows and movies.

I didn’t even know a streaming stick was a rumor, but now I want one. I think Mr. Waniata’s argument has a flawed premise though. His whole argument is based on how Apple probably wouldn’t make a cheap streaming stick. But the company could still create one and sell it at or near the price of an Apple TV. And I think it would still sell like hot cakes.

Google Employees Say Company Has No Values Anymore

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Google employees say that the company doesn’t place values over profits anymore. They continue to call on the company to cancel the censored search engine plans for China.

Eleven Google employees had signed the letter as of its posting, and the number of signatures quickly grew, amounting to more than 100 several hours after it published. By 5 p.m. West Coast time, the letter had 300 signatures.

Did the company ever put values before profits? Is that even possible for a capitalistic corporation? Even Apple’s tune would be different if it was in the advertising business. Even now it still faces controversy over its own forays into China.