Apple is in talks to buy Swell, a startup described as “Pandora for talk radio,” according to several sources.
Swell’s service compiles different podcasts and sorts them into personalized streams, thereby acting as a sort-of podcast recommendation system. The deal would reportedly set Apple back a cool $30 million.
Watch today’s Cult of Mac news roundup for details on a lawsuit filed by Apple employees. Plus, you’ll get info on the latest Apple software updates, a look at the Starbucks app’s new capabilities and Jimmy Kimmel’s hilarious iWatch prank.
There are a lot of reasons to be excited about Apple right now, but if you believe Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, we’re just getting started.
Based on Apple’s quarterly SEC filing, Huberty believes Apple’s revenue is set to explode over the coming quarters, since she claims Cupertino’s off-balance sheet commitments “confirm major product ramps later this year.”
Earlier this week, forensic data scientist Jonathan Zdziarski made a bold claim: iOS may be vulnerable to government snooping by design. According to Zdziarski, iOS had multiple backdoors installed that made any device running the OS “almost always at risk of spilling all data,” which in turn made for some “tasty attack points for .gov and criminals.”
Apple, of course, denied having ever worked with the government to install any backdoors. But that didn’t change the fact that these unsecured services do exist, and worse, have gone entirely undocumented. But thankfully, Apple has rectified at least that last problem, penning a new support document that explains what each of Zdziarski’s snoopsome services actually does.
The European Commission has issued some words to Google and Apple about both companies’ steps to ensure children don’t rack up huge amounts of money on in-app purchases without their parents’ permission.
In a statement released by the Commission on Friday, Google is praised for a series of changes that will be put in effect by the end of September — while Apple finds itself on the receiving end of some harsh criticism.
But outside of selling more iPads, iPhones and Macs in business, what else could Apple get out of the deal, which was announced Tuesday? According to a new report, Watson — IBM’s Jeopardy-winning A.I. capable of understanding natural language.
Smartphone user habits may change depending on where you are in the world, but one thing remains largely the same: the iPhone (and Apple brand) is a status symbol.
With that in mind, Apple is tapping FPT Corp., Vietnam’s biggest listed information and communication technology company, to help grow its market share across Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
As with China, developing markets such as Vietnam represent important potential hotbeds for Apple to target, and establishing a presence early is of the utmost importance. According to Lam Nguyen, Ho Chi Minh City-based country director at International Data Corp, Vietnamese smartphone sales will increase by around 56 percent to 12 million units in 2014 alone — and Apple should be in a position to get a large chunk of those sales.
Tim Cook with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. Photo courtesy Apple
Today Apple announced that it’s partnering with IBM to “transform enterprise mobility through a new class of business apps.” The relationship will combine IBM’s enterprise data specialties with Apple’s iOS hardware and software.
“iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and over 92 percent of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement. “For the first time ever we’re putting IBM’s renowned big data analytics at iOS users’ fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver.”
There are four key areas that Apple will be working on with IBM:
The National Federation of the Blind says Apple has “done more for accessibility than any other company to date.”
Last week there was a big furore when it turned out that a Reuters report about the National Federation of the Blind taking issue with the accessibility of Apple’s apps was based on inaccurate reporting.
Given how seriously Apple takes the issue of accessibility (as seen by Tim Cook’s comments at Auburn University last year, and his angry retort to investors worried about ROI earlier this year) it didn’t take long for Cupertino to spring into action: pointing out just how seriously they take the concept that their products should be used and enjoyed by everyone, including those with disabilities.
Now Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, has chimed into the debate himself, with a lengthy blog post praising Apple’s work on accessibility, but also pointing out what can be done to improve this even more in future — by having Apple work with app developers to make the 1 million+ apps in the App Store more accessible to all users.
Tim Cook in the crowd at a recent event with China Mobile, the largest carrier on earth.
After the Chinese media called iOS’s ability to track an iPhone’s location a “national security concern,” Apple has responded with a lengthy statement detailing its commitment to customer privacy.
Yesterday China’s state-run CCTV ran a segment heavily criticizing the “Frequent Locations” feature in iOS 7 that records where the device has been in detail on a map. The implications of the report were that Apple was sharing the data with other companies and governments.
Today Apple responded to the allegations by saying that it is “deeply committed to protecting the privacy of all our customers” and that it has never created a backdoor for any government agency.