Apple is expanding the services it offers, but most of its sales still come from the iPhone.
Screenshot by CNET
Apple just can’t shake that iPhone addiction.
At a flashy event on Monday, the company time and time again stressed how great its services will work on its mobile devices. For its premium Apple News Plus subscription package, magazines have been designed to take advantage of the iPhone or iPad, adding animated covers and automatically downloading content for convenience. “I can read full magazine issues no matter where or when, right from my phone,” said Wyatt Mitchell, Apple’s director of design for applications, during Monday’s event.
The Apple Arcade game subscription service will give Apple device users unlimited access to more than 100 new and exclusive games. “You won’t find these games on any other mobile platform or any other subscription service,” said Ann Thai, a senior product manager for the App Store.
And Apple’s new no-fee credit card, Apple Card, requires an iPhone to work. “It can do all sorts of things no other credit card can do,” said Jennifer Bailey, head of Apple Pay. “For starters, you don’t have to wait days to get your card. Just sign up on your iPhone.”
CNET editors break down Apple’s TV Plus event
The company’s revamped TV app will be on Macs, iPads and, of course, iPhones. The app brings together various streaming services — except, notably, Netflix — in one place and serves up recommendations for what you should watch next. “Everything you saw is amazing on iPhone,” said Peter Stern, Apple vice president of services. The TV app even will come to smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio and streaming video boxes from Roku and Amazon. “Now that you’ve seen the new Apple TV app, you’re going to want it on all of your screens,” Stern added.
Apple didn’t specify where its biggest news of the day, its TV Plus streaming video service, will be available when it goes live, but it’s likely to be found in the same places as the TV app, a feature of iOS, MacOS and smart TVs. Even Oprah made an appearance to promote why she’s working with Apple on Apple TV Plus. Hint: It has a lot to do with the iPhone. “A billion devices, y’all!” Oprah told the crowd.
Apple remains the iPhone company.
Colin Gillis, analyst, Chatham Road Partners
Overall, Monday’s event was big on hype and short on details. Aside from Apple News Plus, nothing announced could be accessed right away. Apple touted partner after partner for its gaming and TV services, but it didn’t give many details about pricing or when we can subscribe to them. One thing, however, was supremely clear: Despite Apple’s declarations that it wants to become a services powerhouse, at heart it’s still “the iPhone company.”
About two-thirds of the company’s revenue comes from its smartphone, an influx of money that helped it become the first trillion-dollar US company. That reliance has become a problem because people have upgraded their devices less often. Apple’s no longer valued at over a trillion dollars, and earlier this year, it reported a rare miss in quarterly sales because of weaker iPhone demand.
Apple has an opportunity with its new services to woo people who just like to watch TV, read the news or play games on their mobile devices. People who own iPhones, iPads and Macs already buy into Apple’s message. It’s everyone else, those Android and Windows device owners, who Apple could target as an opportunity for real expansion.
For now, though, those people are out of luck. On Monday, Apple didn’t say a word about any of its services coming to Android or Windows devices. It didn’t even say if its TV content could be accessed through a desktop web browser. And an Apple spokesperson said the company didn’t have more information to share beyond what it said on stage Monday.
“People are used to watching content on any device they have at the time, and it’s not always on Apple devices,” Technalysis Research analyst Bob O’Donnell said. “Apple can’t make services truly successful if it’s only on its own devices.”
Tiptoeing outside the walled garden
There are signs Apple may not be a completely walled garden for long. The company has long created a version of its iTunes service that works on Windows computers. That proved to be a smart move from the start, with downloads jumping when iTunes became available on Windows PCs in late 2003, about six months after the service launched on Macs.
Since then, however, Apple’s services have primarily stayed inside the Apple ecosystem, aside from Apple Music. There’s an Apple Music app for Android, which Apple first offered as a beta before rolling it out broadly. And in December, the company rolled out Apple Music for Amazon Echo speakers, allowing users to ask the Alexa voice assistant to play tracks from Apple’s streaming service.
But Apple’s Android app doesn’t work as flawlessly as the iOS version, and new features often appear months or even years after they hit the iOS app.
In January at CES, Apple made yet another step into putting its services on rival devices by partnering with major TV makers. Samsung’s smart TVs will offer support for iTunes movies and TV shows beginning this spring. Samsung TVs will also support AirPlay 2, Apple’s upgraded Wi-Fi audio streaming technology, allowing customers to stream videos, music and other content directly to their TV from an Apple device.
While Samsung is the only TV maker to offer iTunes TV and videos on its sets, other companies — LG, Vizio and Sony — will let users stream content from their iPhones, iPads and Macs to their televisions.
At its event Monday, Apple went even further. Its redesigned TV app will land on Samsung smart TVs this spring, then move to LG, Sony and Vizio TVs. Roku and Amazon Fire TV streaming-video devices also will be supported.
But that’s where its openness ends. At least in the beginning, none of the services appear to work with Android or Windows.
Closing itself off from Android and Windows devices shuts Apple off from a significant percentage of the phone, tablet and PC markets. About 85 percent of all smartphones run Android, according to IDC, and that’s not changing for the foreseeable future. More than half of the world’s tablets also use Android, according to Net Applications, and over 85 percent of all desktop and laptop computers in the world run Windows, the researcher said.
Apple likely will eventually make its services run on rival devices. If it’s serious about becoming more than an iPhone maker, it has to.
But no matter how much it does in services, Apple’s reliance on the iPhone isn’t ending anytime soon.
“Video streaming is not going to save shares of [Apple] if the iPhone market declines,” Chatham Road Partners analyst Colin Gillis noted. “Apple remains the iPhone company.”
The story originally ran at 5 a.m. PT.
iOS 14.1, iPadOS 14.1 Released With 10-Bit HDR Video Playback, Edit Support for Earlier Models
Apple has released iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1 as the latest improvement-focussed updates for compatible iPhone and iPad models. The new updates come less than a month after the company rolled out iOS 14.0.1 and iPadOS 14.0.1 as the early bug fix releases post the debut of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. Alongside various improvements…
Apple has released iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1 as the latest improvement-focussed updates for compatible iPhone and iPad models. The new updates come less than a month after the company rolled out iOS 14.0.1 and iPadOS 14.0.1 as the early bug fix releases post the debut of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. Alongside various improvements and bug fixes, the iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1 bring 10-bit HDR video playback and edit support to existing iPhone and iPad models.What’s new in iOS 14.1As per the changelog provided by Apple, iOS 14.1 adds support for 10-bit HDR video playback and editing in the Photos app for the iPhone 8 and later models. It makes sense as the iPhone 12 series brings 10-bit HDR video recording and while enabling the same experience isn’t possible probably due to hardware limitations, existing iPhone users will now be able to watch and edit videos they receive from the latest iPhone models.Aside from the newly added 10-bit HDR video support, the update fixes the problem that was causing some widgets, folders, and icons to appear in reduced size on the home screen. It also addresses the issue where dragging widgets on the home screen could remove apps from folders. The update also fixes the issues where emails in Mail were sent from an incorrect alias and incoming calls were prevented from displaying region information.iOS 14.1 brings a list of improvements and bug fixes The iOS 14.1 update also brings a fix for the issue that was resulting in the lock screen emerging call button to overlap with the text input box when zoomed display mode was enabled alongside an alphanumeric passcode. Similarly, the update fixes the Calculator app for the issue that could prevent zeros from appearing on the screen. There is also a fix for the issue that was restricting users to download or add songs to their library while viewing an album or playlist.Apple has also resolved an issue that was temporarily reducing streaming video resolution at the start of playback. The update also addresses an issue in the Files app that could cause some MDM-managed cloud service providers to incorrectly display content as unavailable. Additionally, there are improvements towards Ubiquiti wireless access points’ compatibility.The latest iOS update also fixes a couple of problems related to the Apple Watch. In one case, some users were prevented from setting up a family member’s Apple Watch, while in the other one, the Apple Watch case material was displayed incorrectly in the Apple Watch app.That said, the iOS 14.1 update doesn’t address the known battery drain issue that was introduced with the release of iOS 14. Apple even acknowledged the issue publicly and provided a workaround — which was to restore your iPhone after completely erasing all its content stored.The release of iOS 14.1 comes just ahead of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro sale that is beginning in the US and other key markets from Friday, October 23. The new iPhone models are debuting in India on October 30, though. Apple is likely to ship the iPhone 12 series with iOS 14.1 out-of-the-box.What’s new in iPadOS 14.1Just like the iOS 14.1 update, iPadOS 14.1 also includes fixes for the issues related to widgets, folders, and icons on the home screen, Mail app, music library, video playback, and the Files app. It also brings 10-bit HDR video playback and editing support to the Photos app for the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation) and later, iPad Pro 11‑inch, iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Air (3rd generation) and later, and the iPad mini (5th generation). Moreover, the iPadOS 14.1 update comes on the heels of the iPad Air (2020) availability that is set alongside the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro sale. The new iPad Air is expected to ship running the latest iPadOS update.How to download iOS 14.1, iPadOS 14.1To download iOS 14.1 on your iPhone or iPod touch or iPadOS 14.1 on your iPad, make sure the device has a sufficient amount of battery and is connected to a Wi-Fi network. You can then begin the download process by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Moreover, the updates are available for all iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad models that are compatible with iOS 14 or iPadOS 14.Are iPhone 12 mini, HomePod mini the Perfect Apple Devices for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
Flipkart Big Billion Days Sale: Samsung Galaxy S20+, Galaxy Note 10+, Galaxy F41, More Receive Price Discounts
Samsung Galaxy S20+, Galaxy Note 10+, Galaxy Tab A 8.0, and Galaxy Watch are available on discounted prices under Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale. The sale is currently live for Flipkart Plus members. Flipkart is also set to offer a Rs. 1,000 prepaid discount along with a 10 percent instant discount for SBI customers purchasing…
Samsung Galaxy S20+, Galaxy Note 10+, Galaxy Tab A 8.0, and Galaxy Watch are available on discounted prices under Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale. The sale is currently live for Flipkart Plus members. Flipkart is also set to offer a Rs. 1,000 prepaid discount along with a 10 percent instant discount for SBI customers purchasing the newly launched Galaxy F41. Separately, Samsung is hosting a festive season sale through its online store in India to offer deals and discounts on various accessories, wearables, and smart TVs.Discounts on Samsung phonesFlipkart is offering the Samsung Galaxy S20+ at a discounted price of Rs. 49,999 as a part of its Big Billion Days sale. It’s a discount of Rs. 28,000 on its current price of Rs. 77,999. If you’re looking for a Galaxy Note model, Flipkart also has the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ at Rs. 54,999, down from its retail price of Rs. 85,000.Flipkart will also sell the Samsung Galaxy F41 during the sale. As mentioned, customers will get an additional Rs. 1,000 discount on prepaid transactions and SBI customers can avail another 10 percent discount on it.Discounts on Samsung Galaxy Watch and Tablet A 8.0In addition to smartphones, Flipkart’s sale brings the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 Wi-Fi only at Rs. 8,999 that normally retails at Rs. 9,999. Customers can also pick the Samsung Galaxy Watch 46mm Bluetooth variant at Rs. 11,990 — a discount of Rs. 8,000 on the current price of Rs. 19,990.Flipkart also has a Smart Upgrade Plan that lets customers purchase Samsung premium phones by paying 70 percent of their price. After a 12-month period, they will have the option to either upgrade to a new phone via Flipkart and return the initial phone purchased, or pay the 30 percent balance.The Flipkart Big Billion Days sale is currently live only for Flipkart Plus members. However, it will be available for regular customers starting Friday and will go on until October 21.Samsung is also hosting the festive sale through its online store in India that brings up to 40 percent discount on the Galaxy S20+, up to 60 percent discount on wireless chargers and JBL speakers, and up to 45 percent discount on various smart TVs including The Frame. There will also be up to 12.5 percent cashback for HDFC, ICICI, and SBI bank customers.The Samsung sale is live and will go on till November 16.Flipkart, Amazon have excellent iPhone 11, Galaxy S20+ sale offers, but will they have enough stock? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.
iPhone 12 Pro Max camera: Why this pro photographer is super excited – CNET
Apple As a professional photographer, I’ve been blown away by how the iPhone 11 Pro has been able to replace my DSLR on photo shoots. But Apple just introduced the iPhone 12 lineup which includes the iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the camera tech is even…
As a professional photographer, I’ve been blown away by how the iPhone 11 Pro has been able to replace my DSLR on photo shoots. But Apple just introduced the iPhone 12 lineup which includes the iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the camera tech is even better this time around. (Here’s everything Apple announced at the October event.) The iPhone 12 Pro Max’s camera updates especially, both in hardware and software, have already got me buzzing about going shooting with this thing. Here’s why I’m so excited.More zoom with the 2.5x telephoto lensI love the telephoto zoom lens on the iPhone 11 Pro, but at only 2x, it doesn’t always provide quite the level of zoom I want. I often find myself digitally zooming in further to get the exact composition I want. The iPhone 12 Pro Max takes that further, to 2.5x, which might not seem like a huge upgrade, but I think will be noticeable for many shots.
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Would I have liked 5x or 10x? Sure, I love the bigger zoom on phones like the Galaxy S20 Ultra, but as they’re so big, I don’t use them quite as often as the 2x on the iPhone . Maybe 3x would have been a good compromise, but I still think that the 12 Pro Max’s upgrade will make a big difference to many of my photos. Bigger image sensorApple already manages to squeeze incredible image quality out of tiny phone camera sensors, and its great software allows for the awesome night mode shots we’ve already seen. But a 47% larger sensor captures more light, allowing for brighter shots with less noise and better dynamic range. It’s why my professional camera (a Canon 5D Mark IV) uses a much bigger full-frame sensor. I’m very keen to see just what a difference this larger sensor might mean not just for my nighttime photos, but for capturing fine details in landscapes, or up close when taking macro images of flowers. A bigger sensor paired with Apple’s image processing software is likely to be a potent combination. The iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max have three rear cameras.
Improved, faster lens for better night modeIt’s not just the sensor that can capture more light — the lens itself can let in more light than before thanks to its wider, f/1.6 aperture. That number basically means that the hole that light passes through is bigger than before, allowing more light to pass through in the same amount of time. Together with the larger sensor, Apple reckons the 12 Pro Max has seen an 87% improvement in low light imagery from the iPhone 11, which itself was already one of the best at low-light photos.
The redesigned lens isn’t just about letting more light in, though. Apple also explained in its launch presentation that it’s improved the optical clarity of the lens, reducing the amount of image distortion, particularly at the edges of the image on the widest lens. All of which means better-looking, more professional images. Lovely stuff.Apple ProRaw Many of my best images I’ve taken with the iPhone have been taken in raw, using third-party apps. Raw images don’t save data like color information, or sharpening, allowing for greater control when editing in mobile apps like Adobe Lightroom Mobile. However, the downside of shooting raw in third-party apps is that you don’t get to take advantage of the image processing Apple uses in its own camera app. The Deep Fusion processing for amazing HDR, for example, is only something you’d get when shooting with the iPhone’s native camera.
To appeal more to pros, Apple has introduced Apple ProRaw in its camera app, which takes advantage of many of its image processing capabilities, but doesn’t permanently bake in data like white balance, allowing you to still make those changes in post production. Apple says it’s the best of both worlds, and on paper, I’m tempted to agree, but I’ll have to reserve my final judgment until I can not only shoot images in this new format, but also edit the images as well. It’s worth noting that Google has done much the same already with its Pixel phones”http://www.cnet.com/”computational raw” feature, which CNET senior editor Stephen Shankland calls “tremendous.” How the two compare remain to be seen.HDR video and improved stabilization It’s not just stills that have seen an improvement. The phone also now offers HDR with Dolby Vision at up to 60fps, which Apple says is the first time this has been offered on any device. In theory, this would help control bright highlights and help lift dark shadows, in just the same way that HDR does when you take still images.The optical image stabilization has also been improved as well by moving the image sensor to counter movements and vibrations, rather than moving the heavier lens, as was the case before. How much difference this makes remains to be seen when I can take the phones out for a proper test, but with better image quality and better stabilization, I’m really excited about the sorts of videos I’ll be able to produce with this phone.
Apple reveals iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max