Not really, but this is great.
Unlimited mobile data makes a comeback
Verizon last week made a surprise announcement that it is again offering unlimited data plans for its LTE service. Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T quickly followed with their own announcements around unlimited data. The trigger appears to be T-Mobile, which saw a very successful quarter attracting Verizon customers with its previously announced unlimited plans.
"Verizon's perceived network advantage is no longer strong enough to keep its best customers on unattractive rate plans and it was forced to respond," reports BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk, which, along with T-Mobile announcing a record porting ratio against Verizon in Q1 2017, may explain Verizon's sudden change in attitude.
All four carriers have different prices, features, and limitations for unlimited data. It's interesting though to see things tilt back to unlimited features on data after a hard shift to metered bandwidth with LTE.
Thieves chew through security cables at Madrid Apple Stores
Apparently a group in Romanias have stolen over $24,000 in demo products from a Madrid Apple Store. The thefts took place over a period time in a coordinated effort.
The capers were reportedly well-organized, as the suspects dispersed in a "joint, planned and distributed manner throughout the establishment." According to camera footage, one of the thieves bit through the security tether until the iPhone was freed. The device was then passed along various members of the group -- to make it harder for the staff to keep track of the stolen iPhone -- until the thieves could finally remove it from the store.
The scheme reportedly broke down when a member was caught attempting to sell stolen products.
Next Apple TV thought to offer 4K
Earlier this month, Apple Inc. poached the chief of Amazon's Fire TV unit to run its television operations. Timothy D. Twerdhal brings hardware and content experience to his new gig, and his hiring suggests a renewed focus on the Apple TV set-top box.
Twerdhal's arrival comes as the company tests a new, fifth-generation Apple TV that it may release as soon as this year. Internally codenamed "J105," the new box will be capable of streaming ultra-high-definition 4K and more vivid colors, according to people familiar with the plans.
I feel like Apple TV's biggest limiting factors are content and software. 4K would keep the device fresh for years, but I'm not sure how of the adoption rate yet for TVs/monitors and content.
The story also go into depth on the various challenges Apple has had with content owners and developing a compelling hardware solution at reasonable prices with high margins.
Office for Mac update launches Touch Bar support
Microsoft Thursday pushed out a round of updates for Office 365 on the Mac. The update includes the already announced support for the Touch Bar on the latest MacBook Pro.
Microsoft is adding Touch Bar support to each Office for Mac app. In Word, Office users will be able to activate Focus Mode to remove the Ribbon for less distractions, alongside the ability to format text and change font styles and options to insert comments, photos, and hyperlinks straight from the Touch Bar. PowerPoint will display a graphical overview of all the slides in a deck, allowing you to reorder slides. Excel has the most useful changes, with the ability to quickly pick recently used functions and color cells or pick out charts.
WWDC dates announced
Apple today announced its 28th annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) -- hosting the world's most talented developer community -- will be held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. The conference, kicking off June 5, will inspire developers from all walks of life to turn their passions into the next great innovations and apps that customers use every day across iPhoneŽ, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Mac.
WWDC is typically focused on software, particularly Apple's various platforms. There's no reason to expect a change, so among other things, most likely we'll hear what's next for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.
BlackBerry nearly bottoms out
BlackBerry has at last fallen to a rounded 0.0% share among smartphone operating systems after shipping just 207,000 smartphones last quarter, following an over seven year decline from its peak market share of approximately 20% in 2009, according to the latest quarterly data from research firm Gartner.
An amazing turn of events from market leader in smartphones both in sales and design to essentially zero.
New Mac Malware attempts to steal passwords, iOS backups
The analysis reveals the presence of modules that can probe the system for hardware and software configurations, grab a list of running processes and run additional files, as well as get desktop screenshots and harvest browser passwords.
But the most important module, from an intelligence-gathering perspective, is the one that allows the operator(s) to exfiltrate iPhone backups stored on a compromised Mac.
Carpool Karaoke promo for Apple Music
Along with Planet of the Apps, Apple has launched a new promo for its Carpool Karaoke series on Apple Music. Like Planet of the Apps, Carpool Karaoke looks to add value to Apple Music subscribers, but unlike the other series, there is a direct link to music.
Based on the segment that has become a global, viral video sensation on The Late Late Show with James Corden, the new CARPOOL KARAOKE series features 16 celebrity pairings riding along in a car together as they sing tunes from their personal playlists and surprise fans who don't expect to see big stars belting out tunes one lane over.
Featuring James Corden, Will Smith, Billy Eichner, Metallica, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Ariana Grande, Seth MacFarlane, Chelsea Handler, Blake Shelton, Michael Strahan, John Cena, Shaquille O'Neal, and many more.
Apple Music's Planet of the Apps promo
Apple has posted a promo for its upcoming Planet of the Apps that will debut on Apple Music. The Shark Tank-like unscripted show will follow hopeful app developers from pitching their app ideas to securing funding.
The show will involve a timed "escalator pitch" to a panel of celebrity "cultural experts." If picked, the expert will mentor the developer to pitch their app to a venture capitalist. Apple is offering to promote the apps on the App Store.
The show is hosted by Apple Music's Zane Lowe and appears to be exclusive to the subscription service. Apple's content strategy seems to be to add value to its monthly streaming service, sort of the same way Amazon has added value to its Prime membership through streaming media. Planet of the Apps is interesting because not only doesn't have a direct music link, but it does help promote Apple's App Store among new developers. Apple other new show Carpool Karaoke is also launching soon. Unlike Planet of the Apps, however, Carpool Karaoke has a direct link to music. It will be interesting to see how subscribers of Apple Music respond to Planet of the Apps vs Carpool Karaoke and whether it will help build an audience.