Apple Daily: Taptic Engine Issues; iPad App Glitch Grounds Flights; Apple Store Watch App

By Leif Johnson In today’s Apple Daily, we learn that Apple is behind schedule on Apple Watch shipments because of production problems centered on a key feature of the device. In other news, a third-party app glitch keeps dozens of American Airlines flights grounded after it shows up on pilots’ iPads, and insider sources claim that an Apple Store app could be coming to the Apple Watch sometime this summer.Faulty Taptic Engines Hampering Apple Watch ProductionAt last, we have some idea why the Apple Watch is behind on production, to the point that many of pre-orders still haven’t made their way to customers. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, the initial rollout has been hampered by issues with the Taptic Engines supplied for the device by AAC Technologies Holdings of Shenzhen, China. In essence, as Apple discovered as early as February, AAC’s units would wear down quickly after use.The Taptic Engine is a key feature of the Apple Watch, as it simulates the sensation of someone tapping on your wrist — thus the name — through the help of a small rod when a notification comes in.Source: iFixitBut the catch is that the Taptic Engines built by Japan’s Nidec Corp do work, and Apple has apparently shifted almost all production of the engine over to Nidec. Unfortunately, it may take some time before production gets up to Apple’s needs owing to Nidec’s having to adjust to the increased demand from its lines.Apple apparently hasn’t told any of its other suppliers about the specifics of all this, which seems to have caused some confusion on their ends after Apple first them that inventory for the Apple Watch was insufficient and then later told them to slow production until sometime in June. iPad App Glitch Grounds American Airlines FlightsOne of the biggest bits of Apple news from the world of aviation over the last couple of years is the shift from using paper navigation charts in the cockpit to using iPads for the same purpose. American Airlines has been using Apple’s signature tablet for that very purpose since 2011, but a problem with the third-party app used for the charts caused “dozens” of American Airline flights to stay grounded over the last couple of days. Fortunately, the trouble now appears to be over.Specifically, as reported by CNN, the glitch caused delays for 24 flights on Tuesday and 50 more today. That sounds like a lot, but considering that American Airlines reportedly sends off around 6,700 flights on a daily basis, it’s not anywhere near as bad as it could have been.”Some flights are experiencing an issue with a software application on pilot iPads,” American Airlines said in a statement from earlier today. “In some cases, the flight has had to return to the gate to access a WiFi connection to fix the issue.” In addition, pilots were also told that they could pick up physical copies of the maps at the airports.American Airlines also made sure to point out that the third-party application was to blame, not the iPad itself, but that hasn’t stopped a wave of negative reactions directed at the iPad from angry customers on social media outlets such as Twitter.The airline claims that their reliance on iPad-focused digital charts saves American Airlines at least 400,000 gallons of fuel every year, presumably because of the comparative precision involved. In addition, the 8,000 iPads used by American Airlines reportedly replaced the 24 million pages used for the original charts. Apple Store App Said to Come to Apple Watch This SummerIf you’re looking to have more Apple in your Apple, insider rumors suggest that you may be able to access the Apple Store directly from your Apple Watch later this year without having to switch over to your iPhone.As reported by 9to5Mac, the feature apparently won’t support more “complicated” purchases that would work best with your keyboard, but you will be able to order an assortment of products straight from your wrist. The feature should be available sometime this summer, at which time Apple Store employees will reportedly be pressed to play up the convenience of using the app in the presentations.While you’re waiting on Apple’s official Apple Store app, though, be sure to check out our list of the 20 best Apple Watch apps so far.Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Source: Maclife


Duet Display Review

By Kelly Guimont The convenience of a secondary screen can be very handy, either for monitoring something like your email at a busy time, or for extra tools, such as productivity or creative apps, but investing in an additional monitor (especially if you’re mobile and using a laptop) isn’t always practical. This is where Duet Display comes in, letting you use an iPad as a wired extra monitor. Duet Display’s performance is impeccable — as smooth as an external monitor.The requirements are simple: any Mac that can run OS X 10.9 or higher, and any iOS device that can run iOS 7 or higher. Grab the free Duet Mac utility from, install it on your Mac, get the app on your iPad, then launch both and you’re ready to go. One of the notable things about this app is speed, there’s effectively no lag displaying to the iPad, which there is with AirDisplay, an equivalent wireless solution. Another thing to note is that the audio will only come from the computer, not from the iPad, so if you have them some distance apart but video is playing on the iPad it might be disconcerting for the audio to be playing elsewhere.You can tap on items on your iPad, but it’s definitely a suboptimal experience, mostly because Mac OS isn’t made for touchscreens. It’s much better as a display for static information you don’t need to interact with. You can also use Duet Display with your iPhone, but even with a 6 Plus it doesn’t seem like enough real estate.Aside from the audio, the only other thing to really be aware of is that if you are using Duet Display with a laptop, plugging in that cable means you’re also charging your iPad. This means if you don’t have your laptop plugged in, the battery will drain even more quickly due to the iPad charging and never turning off the screen. This isn’t really a problem, but it’s an issue that may affect some users more than others.If you want a way to extend your screen, Duet Display is a solid choice. If you are put off by the power requirements of running both devices off your laptop battery, there are other options for displaying static information on your iPad. Obviously, there are dedicated apps for things like email, or you can use an app such as Status Board to give you a customizable “heads up” display of information from different, customizable sources.The bottom line. A very useful utility for portable productivity.Review Synopsis

Duet Display


Rahul Dewan





iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch running iOS 7 or later; Mac running OS X 10.9 or later


Lag-free Mac display on your iPad. Works anywhere and charges iPad.


No audio feed. Touch control can be awkward.

Source: Maclife


Apple Sets New Second Quarter Record With $58 Billion in Revenue

By Alex Brooks Quarterly iPhone Unit Shipments (up to Q215)
Apple today announced financial results for its second fiscal quarter of 2015 which ran from the end of December, 2014 until March end.For the quarter Apple posted revenue of $58 billion and net quarterly profit of $13.6 billion, or $2.33 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $45.6 billion and net profit of $10.2 billion, or $1.67 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.
Gross margin was 40.3 percent compared to 39.3 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 69 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Apple reported the following number of shipments for its products during the quarter:
61.17 million iPhones compared to 43.71 million in the year-ago-quarter
12.6 million iPads compared to 16.35 million in the year-ago-quarter
4.56 million Macs compared to 4.13 million in the year-ago quarter
Internet services, led by sales of Apps on the iOS and Mac App Store, Apple Pay, and others generated revenue of $4.996bn compared to $4.573bn in the year-ago quarter

“We are thrilled by the continued strength of iPhone, Mac and the App Store, which drove our best March quarter results ever,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re seeing a higher rate of people switching to iPhone than we’ve experienced in previous cycles, and we’re off to an exciting start to the June quarter with the launch of Apple Watch.”
“The tremendous customer demand for our products and services in the March quarter drove revenue growth of 27 percent and EPS growth of 40 percent,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “Cash flow from operations was also outstanding at $19.1 billion.”
Apple provided the following guidance for its fiscal 2015 third quarter which ends in June:
revenue between $46 billion and $48 billion
gross margin between 38.5 percent and 39.5 percent
operating expenses between $5.65 billion and $5.75 billion
other income/(expense) of $350 million
tax rate of 26.3%

Apple today announced that its Board of Directors has authorised an increase of more than 50 percent to the Company’s programme to return capital to shareholders. Under the expanded program, Apple plans to utilise a cumulative total of $200 billion of cash by the end of March 2017. From the inception of its capital return programme in August 2012 through March 2015, Apple has returned over $112 billion to shareholders, including $80 billion in share repurchases.
Analysis of Earnings and Investor’s Call
Apple’s incredible earnings continue to be tainted by a continued decline in iPad sales, dropping from 16 million to 12 million in the just gone March quarter. However, Apple smashed its March quarter record led by huge iPhone sales, Mac and App Stores that performed 27% year-over-year revenue growth.
On iPad sales Cook confirmed that the sales were being cannibalised by both the iPhone and the Mac (“We’ve never worried about that, it is what it is”). However, according to Cook if you dig below the headline data it’s clear that things will stabilise but unsure when. Additionally things like first time buyer rates are above the 40% mark in the US, in China that number is over 70%. With customer satisfaction at 100% and intent to buy very high confidence remains high at apple.
Cook did not want to predict when the iPad would begin growing again, but strongly believes that it will.
iPhone made up 69% of Apple’s total revenue, with the average selling price of the iPhone was $659 a marked increase on estimates from analysts and demonstrating that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ mix continues to not be imbalanced. On the earnings call Tim Cook put growth in iPhone sales down to more switchers than estimated, ie those moving from other platforms outperformed Apple’s expectations.
Cook explained that iPhone grew 40% but IDC predicted the market growth to be 16%, with Apple performing “extremely well” in emerging markets. Cook extremely pleased with switcher numbers but also first-time buyers remain strong, there’s nothing not to like in the numbers Cook explained. Cook also predicted that 20% of the existing iPhone owner market had moved over to the iPhone 6/6+, clearly leaving plenty of head room for upgrades.
For the first time ever Apple sold more iPhones in the China area than it did in the United States, subsequently revenue grew 71% to $16.8 billion.
Internet services also helped lead Apple’s success with revenue growing to an all time high of $5 billion, up 9% year-over-year. The App Store was particularly strong with revenue up 29%. Apple noted in the earnings call that Apple’s App Store had 77% more revenue that Google’s Play Store.
On Apple Watch the company was relatively quiet, with investors asking few questions. However, Apple’s guidance gave clues to lower gross margin for the device, Cook confirmed that gross margin would be lower than the company average.

Source: World of Apple


Price Drop: The Weekend’s Best App Deals, April 24

By J Keirn-Swanson We’ve got some workout action for you on the cheap this weekend, plus a couple really pretty productivity apps. Games? Oh, yes. And if you want to send a delightful postcard home to the family to show them what a rocking vacation you’ve had, then we’ve got something in that vein too. That and even more all packed inside with weekend’s Price Drop, so come on in.

Source: Maclife


Apple Daily: Apple Watch App Store, User Guides Go Live; iPod Refresh This Fall?

By J.R. Bookwalter Raise your hand if you’re excited about Apple Watch! Okay, the couple of you in the back who didn’t raise your hands, stick around, because this edition of Apple Daily has some non-Watch news as well. But if you’re not excited, you probably should be, because new Apple product-category launches don’t happen too often! Let’s dispense with the tomfoolery and jump right in.Apple Watch User Guide, App Store Now AvailableProspective Apple Watch buyers have had months to pore over every excruciating bit of minutiae about the smartwatch, but should there remain any nagging questions about the device on the eve of preorders arriving in the hands of customers Friday, there’s now a user guide with all the answers.On Thursday, Apple published the official Apple Watch User Guide on its website, which breaks down into 22 categories covering every aspect of the wearable device one might expect. With sections entitled Get Started, Basics, Watch Faces, Notifications, Glances, Timekeeping, Messages, Digital Touch, Mail, Phone Calls, and Calendars and Reminders, among others, the manual should give anxious watch buyers plenty to study in the hours that remain before the devices are delivered tomorrow.Apple has also hung the open sign outside the Apple Watch App Store, a specialized version of the existing iOS App Store focused on Watch-compatible titles that actually lives inside the Apple Watch app introduced with iOS 8.2. As previewed by Buzzfeed earlier today, the store’s virtual shelves are stocked with more than 3,000 apps, including all the usual suspects like Twitter, Instapaper, and The New York Times being singled out for special attention.Apple Watch owners will also be able to use the existing App Store on their iPhone or from a Mac or Windows PC, with compatible product listings now showing watch screenshots below the usual iPhone screenshots, and a special “Offers Apple Watch App for iPhone” indicator under the title, making it easier for apps that feature support for the device to stand out from those that do not.Initial Apple Watch preorders are expected to begin arriving on Friday, but apparently the device will not actually be available to purchase for customers walking into an Apple retail store — a departure from the usual long lines and circus atmosphere that has greeted every new iPhone and iPad released since 2007.Report: iPod Could Live to Fight Another DayAppleInsider today reported that Apple hasn’t quite forgotten about the iPod, the media player that helped pave the way for Cupertino to become more than just a computer manufacturer. According to an unidentified source, the product line will apparently see at least one more refresh later this year, with an emphasis on the iPod touch in particular, which may or may not retain the current four-inch form factor.The iPod lineup has remained the same since late 2012, but the report specifically cites the processor, storage capacity, and camera as specific areas Apple may address in an effort to boost interest in its once-mighty media player.Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

Source: Maclife