Apple on Monday unveiled iOS 7, a completely revamped version of the mobile operating system. The new OS is available to developers in beta today for iPhone and for the iPad in the coming weeks. It will see a general release this fall for iPhone 4 and up, iPad 2 and later, the iPad mini, and the fifth-generation iPod touch. The update is "the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone," Apple CEO Tim Cook said at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). In a demo video, design chief Jony Ive said iOS 7 is unobtrusive, completely new but also familiar. Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, showed off a demo of iOS 7, which he said includes a "liveliness" that moves with you and tracks your motion, enabling you to "see behind the icons.""Installing iOS 7 on your phone is like getting an entirely new phone, but one that you already know how to use [and that is] beautiful and more functional," Federighi said.
Apple IRadio is being debuted this week at the Apple developer conference: iRadio is like radio: You launch the app, you choose a station, and you listen to the music that's playing. If you don't like it, you change the channel. Don't like a song? Click the skip button. You can pay for it or not: Those who pay Apple a few bucks a month for iRadio will get an ad-free experience. Those who want to use it for free will have to put up with periodic radio ads, and perhaps other limitations. It's separate from the iTunes Store: If iRadio's streaming music channels don't appeal to you, ignore them and continue purchasing music from iTunes as usual. The two don't interfere with each other, and iTunes isn't going anywhere. Take it with you: Some users will prefer to listen while on their computer, but others will take iRadio mobile by using the app on their iPhone or iPad. You can listen anywhere you can get a good cell signal. But as with all other mobile internet usage, data plan limitations and surcharges apply.
Confirming an earlier rumor, Apple announced heavy integration between iOS and cars during its WWDC 2013 keynote. Details were sketchy at the keynote, but Apple Vice President Eddy Cue said that Honda, Mercedes, Nissan, Ferrari, and Infiniti were integrating more features from iOS into their cars, making maps and iMessages available on a car's LCD. Currently, many cars include integration with iOS music functions, letting drivers plug their iOS devices into a car's USB, then see and select music from the car's LCD. A presentation photo at the keynote showed a mock-up of a car's LCD with Apple menu buttons for maps, phone, music, and messaging. Rather than use Apple's menu-button style, as shown in the mock-up, automakers would likely want to use styles coherent with their dashboard interfaces. This new integration would make it safer to use an iPhone's functions in the car, as they could be controlled and viewed on the car's dashboard, as opposed to a driver holding the actual phone.
North Carolina is joining a growing number of states exploring new fees for hybrid and electric car owners to help make up for revenue those drivers aren't paying in gas taxes on their fuel-efficient vehicles. The proposal strikes many owners of alternative-fuel vehicles and some advocacy groups as a wrong-headed approach to balancing priorities of promoting U.S. energy independence with sustainable infrastructure funding. But policymakers and some experts argue taxing hybrid and electric vehicle owners is a matter of making sure all drivers help maintain the roads they use and construct new ones. Gas taxes are the most vital source of transportation funding, making up nearly 40 percent of all state highway revenues and more than 90 percent at the federal level, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
After enduring criticism from the gaming community that the Xbox One launch last month was light on the gaming news, Microsoft responded on Monday at a pre-E3 press conference with a torrent of game announcements, including a handful of key exclusive titles, such as Dead Rising 3, and a tease of the next game in the Halo franchise, which will land next year. In running through a marathon of announcements, Microsoft's message to the gamers was simple: We haven't abandoned you. The company also said the Xbox One would launch in November and sell for $499. The company showed off demo footage before moving on to the tease of a new Halo game, which took its time in revealing the Master Chief, whose appearance drew thunderous applause from the audience. Other exclusives include an ambitious game-building title Project Spark, colorful open-world shooter Sunset Overdrive, Roman action game Ryse, and Crimson Dragon, the spiritual successor to the much-loved Panzer Dragoon series.
Sony has apparently learned its lesson from the early life of the PlayStation 3. Accordingly, analysts say, the company is planning to keep the price point of its successor console - the PlayStation 4 - as much under $400 as it possibly can. Why $400? If you'll tap into the ol' memory banks for a minute and think back to the initial launch of the PlayStation 3 in 2006, the cheapest possible console one could pick up in the United States was the 20-gigabyte iteration of the PS3 for a (then-whopping) $499. The sixty-gigabyte PS3 tacked on an additional $100 the cost. Together, the consoles' costs were a bit of an outlier against Microsoft's slightly less expensive Xbox 360 ($299 or $399) and Nintendo's Wii ($249). The result? A 2008 article from Silicon Alley Insider said it all: "Sony's PS3 is dying on the shelves."
Google will buy Waze for $1.3 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported on Sunday, potentially trumping rival offers for the Israeli mapping start-up.
The report on the website of financial newspaper Globes did not cite sources or provide further details. Last month sources told Reuters the Internet search giant was in talks to acquire Waze, while a second Israeli newspaper reported Facebook was willing to pay up to $1 billion for the firm. Facebook is delving deeper into mobile technology as it tries to expand its user base. Waze is a crowd-sourced, mobile-oriented navigation device for drivers that relies on information provided by its 47 million members to populate its maps. Mapping services are among the five most-used applications on smartphones and are crucial to engaging and retaining mobile users. The key advantage of owning, rather than licensing, a mapping service is that it allows the product to be personalized for users.
With the rate at which smartphone technology is progressing, your smartphone probably started to feel a bit dated only a few months after you bought it. Never mind the fact that it is still an extremely powerful mobile device with more processing power and RAM than your first computer, we know the pull towards the new, shiny, more powerful devices can be quite strong. All of this makes AT&T's latest decision all the more depressing. The company has announced that it will be upping the wait time that customers must endure before they are entitled to an upgrade. Back in April, Verizon announced that come January 2014, customers would only be entitled to an upgrade after they had fulfilled their 24-month contract. Previously, customers could upgrade after 20 months of their two-year contract. Now it looks like AT&T is making the same move. The company today revealed its revised upgrade eligibility for customers on two year contracts, which includes a 24-month upgrade policy.
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