The iTunes Festival SXSW kicks off Tuesday in Austin, Texas, with performances by Coldplay and Imagine Dragons. The Festival runs through Saturday and also features Pitbull, Keith Urban, Kendrick Lamar, Soundgarden, Willie Nelson, and more. Catch all five nights of the iTunes Festival for free as a live or on-demand stream in the iTunes Store on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. Watch the performances on Apple TV or download the iTunes Festival app. And gear up for the shows by listening to the iTunes Festival at SXSW Artists station on iTunes Radio.
Apple and Danish company GN ReSound have teamed up to introduce a hearing aid that’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, reports CNN.com. The LiNX hearing aid works with the accessibility options in iOS 7, letting users control it right from their Apple device. Doctors are hoping the high-tech factor will take some of the stigma out of seeking help for hearing loss. “The association with Apple is going to make a great difference in getting people in the door in the first place,” audiologist Dr. Ken Smith says.
In exploring some of the world’s tallest and most treacherous peaks, one new piece of equipment has become essential to mountaineers Adrian Ballinger and Emily Harrington: their iPad. Instead of relying on paper maps to prepare for their expeditions, they study details of remote regions using iPad and the Gaia GPS topography app. “Five years ago, it was hard to even get a paper map of some of these places,” Ballinger says. “Now with the iPad it’s remarkable how much we can plan ahead.” The climbers also use iPad to blog and post photos during an expedition instead of recounting their story when the trek is over. And iPad is an important tool during extreme weather, as Ballinger and Harrington rely on it to make sure they stay on track. “In a whiteout,” says Harrington, “being able to see where you are on the mountain can be a matter of life or death. iPad is the only way to tell where we’re going.”
Apple today announced that Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s senior vice president and CFO, will retire at the end of September. Luca Maestri, Apple’s vice president of Finance and corporate controller, will succeed Oppenheimer as CFO reporting to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Oppenheimer will transition the CFO role to Maestri in June and the balance of his responsibilities over the remaining time allowing for a seamless transition. “Peter has served as our CFO for the past decade as Apple’s annual revenue grew from $8 billion to $171 billion and our global footprint expanded dramatically,” said Cook. “His guidance, leadership and expertise have been instrumental to Apple’s success, not only as our CFO but also in many areas beyond finance, as he frequently took on additional activities to assist across the company. His contributions and integrity as our CFO create a new benchmark for public company CFOs.”
Educators at one of Singapore’s top public high schools have found that using iPad in the classroom is helping students excel and changing the way they interact with their lessons. In 2011, Nanyang Girls’ High School launched a program to introduce iPad in the curriculum. The initiative began with a single grade level, but has since expanded to include the entire student body. “The interactive features definitely appeal to and engage the students more,” says history teacher Ong Lee Hua. Students are speaking up more in class and participating more in online discussions. And teachers also say iPad helps the girls learn to navigate the collaborative world they’ll be working in. “The collaborative element of using iPad is pretty relevant in today’s world,” according to language arts teacher Cressandra Tan. “Not just relying on your own strengths, but the strengths of your group.”
Apple has announced that leading auto manufacturers are rolling out CarPlay, the smarter and safer way to use iPhone in the car. CarPlay gives iPhone users an intuitive way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music, and access messages with a word or a touch. Users can control CarPlay from the car’s native interface or push and hold the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri. “CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction.” Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo will premiere CarPlay to their drivers this week, while additional auto manufacturers will bring CarPlay to their drivers in the future.
For the fifth consecutive year, Apple has been named overall winner in Laptop Mag’s “Best and Worst Laptop Brands.” The magazine evaluated notebooks from nine manufacturers in a range of categories, from reviews and tech support to design and software. “For a remarkable fifth year in a row,” the magazine writes, “Apple has proved once again that it’s still the gold standard of laptop makers.” Apple won four out of eight categories and tied for first in two others, and all four MacBook models reviewed received Editor’s Choice awards. “Often imitated, never duplicated,” the reviewers concluded. “The clean, modern look of Apple’s MacBook has set the standard for portability and power, which is why so many other notebooks look like clones.”
Soundgarden will join an all-star lineup playing the iTunes Festival at SXSW on March 13, Apple has announced. The Seattle-based band will perform the entire “Superunknown” album to celebrate the recording’s 20th anniversary. The festival will be held March 11-15 in Austin, Texas, and will also feature Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Pitbull, Keith Urban, and more. You’ll be able to watch the performances live or on demand from iTunes.
FileMaker Inc. announced today that its FileMaker Go for iPad and iPhone apps have surpassed 1 million downloads from the iTunes App Store. FileMaker Go is a free app that allows users to remotely interact with FileMaker databases. “Businesses are using the FileMaker Platform to create solutions that manage everything from sales contacts and inventory to medical data on iPad and iPhone,” FileMaker’s Ryan Rosenberg said. “With the recent launch of FileMaker 13, customers will find it easier than ever to design innovative mobile solutions.”
On a recent visit to a middle school in Maryland, President Obama “wielded an iPad to help make a point about how he hopes to do more for schools without more funding from Congress,” according to a Reuters report. Obama plans to modernize classrooms with technology, and Apple and other private companies have pledged to provide $750 million in tech products and services. Apple’s commitment includes donating free iPads to disadvantaged schools. Obama said technology like this “makes vivid and real math and science, in a way that is more interesting to the students.”
Fans can use iPhone and iOS to personalize their Super Bowl weekend experience, reports The New York Times’ Nick Wingfield in an article about the NFL’s iBeacon integration with the NFL Mobile app. At Times Square and MetLife Stadium, mobile technology can lead fans to the nearest stadium entrance, the closest place to buy merchandise, or where to view the Lombardi Trophy. Mobile announcements and alerts based on location are not new, but the article notes that experts say, “Apple is further along with its version of the technology, which is why most alerts of this kind are now sent to iPhone users.” Manish Jha, the NFL’s general manager of mobile, says, “The power of this is it really is able to connect the real world, the brick-and-mortar world, with the virtual world with a level of granularity that hasn’t existed before.”
Apple has announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 first quarter ended December 28, 2013. The company posted record quarterly revenue of $57.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion, or $14.50 per diluted share. The company sold 51 million iPhones, an all-time quarterly record, compared to 47.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold 26 million iPads during the quarter, also an all-time quarterly record, compared to 22.9 million in the year-ago quarter. The company sold 4.8 million Macs, compared to 4.1 million in the year-ago quarter. “We are really happy with our record iPhone and iPad sales, the strong performance of our Mac products and the continued growth of iTunes, software, and services,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We love having the most satisfied, loyal, and engaged customers, and are continuing to invest heavily in our future to make their experiences with our products and services even better.”
Apple has announced that iBooks Textbooks and iTunes U Course Manager are expanding into new markets across Asia, Latin America, Europe, and elsewhere around the world. iBooks Textbooks bring Multi-Touch texts with dynamic, current, and interactive content to teachers and students in 51 countries. iTunes U Course Manager, available in 70 countries, allows educators to create and distribute courses for their own classrooms, or share them publicly, on the iTunes U app. “The incredible content and tools available for iPad provide teachers with new ways to customize learning unlike ever before,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We can’t wait to see how teachers in even more countries will create their new lesson plans with interactive textbooks, apps, and rich digital content.”
In The Wall Street Journal, tech reporter Daisuke Wakabayashi describes how Apple is expanding its reach into the business market. “The iPhone has replaced the BlackBerry as the mobile phone of choice, as the iPad assumes tasks once reserved for PCs,” Wakabayashi writes. He notes that “Apple is going mainstream” when it comes to the corporate world, and he profiles multiple large enterprises — including SAP, Nordstrom, and Cisco — that have rolled out iOS and other Apple devices to their employees. In fact, according to Good Technology, “More than 90 percent of all business apps were deployed on Apple’s iOS mobile-operating system in the third quarter.”
Yahoo Tech’s David Pogue looks at the all-new Mac Pro, calling it an “insanely powerful” computer designed for professional creative and scientific users. He’s impressed with its horsepower, noting that “every wire, every circuit, every chip has been designed for speed,” and he says the desktop’s “ace in the hole is two top-of-the-line graphics cards.” Pogue points out that the Mac Pro handles pro apps like Final Cut Pro X, Photoshop, and Mathematica “faster than any Mac ever tested,” saving professionals time and money. “The Mac Pro, in every possible way, is a bet on the future,” writes Pogue.
Apple announced that customers spent over $10 billion on the App Store in 2013, including over $1 billion in December alone. App Store customers downloaded almost three billion apps in December, making it the most successful month in App Store history. “We’d like to thank our customers for making 2013 the best year ever for the App Store,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “The lineup of apps for the holiday season was astonishing and we look forward to seeing what developers create in 2014.” Apple’s developers have now earned $15 billion on the App Store.
Liver surgery is a very complex operation, requiring extensive planning and research before a doctor ever enters the operating room. To help improve the process and minimize the risks of this delicate operation, doctors in Japan teamed up with a German research institute to develop an iPad app for use during liver surgeries. The app shows three-dimensional surgical data, helps pinpoint the exact location of blood vessels, and assesses potential risks in real time. “The visualization of liver blood vessels puts surgeons at ease, and it helps to ensure that the right incisions are made at the right time,” says Dr. Itaru Endo of Yokohama City University. The number of doctors using iPad apps during surgery is growing — the apps not only help save lives, they save money. “Augmented reality and other features of the app can replace equipment that costs half a million dollars,” Endo says.
At Palmaz Vineyards in Napa, California, iPad has improved the way the facility operates, from its vineyard to its tanks. Winemaker Christian Gastón Palmaz uses iPad to manage the vineyard and gather data that helps him make informed vine-tending decisions. iPad also has replaced complex industrial controls inside the winery. Palmaz uses an enterprise-level app that automates the labor-intensive, conventional fermentation process. “iPad removes the burden of data collecting and frees up our brilliant winemakers to focus on the art of winemaking,” says Palmaz.
Apple has announced the all-new Mac Pro will be available to order starting Thursday, December 19. The Mac Pro features the latest Intel Xeon processors, dual workstation-class GPUs, PCIe-based flash storage, and ultra-fast ECC memory. Designed around a unified thermal core, the Mac Pro packs unprecedented performance into an aluminum enclosure that is 9.9 inches tall and one-eighth the volume of the previous generation. The Mac Pro is available starting at $2,999.
Apple announced that BEYONCÉ has become the fastest selling album ever on the iTunes Store worldwide with an unprecedented 828,773 albums sold in just its first three days. BEYONCÉ also broke the US first week album sales record with 617,213 sold and proved to be a global success, going to number one in 104 countries. The self-titled BEYONCÉ is the fifth solo studio album from Beyoncé and was made available exclusively worldwide on the iTunes Store on December 13. It is the artist’s first visual album and it represents Beyoncé’s biggest sales week ever.